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Between about 2100hrs and 0230 hrs we were treated to a most amazing light show. Starting in the north and progressing south along the Wasatch front the aurora extended across the whole sky by 1130. Finally extending to within 30 degrees of the southern horizon. Then reseeded to the north until it was time to go to sleep around 0230. Firstly green and then rather suddenly around 2315 red shafts appeared, growing to cover large areas of the sky. The aurora extend south of Layton Utah (towards Salt Lake City) almost to the southern horizon. Thanks go to Ron Vanderhule for giving me a call and making sure I had my head outside. A unique life time experience. My wife and I sat in our spa from 2300 to 1300 amazed at the light show that danced above us. Cause of the excitement was a gigantic sunspot cluster, AR 9393, which ejected magnetically-charged plasma a few days ago. When the material struck Earth's upper atmosphere, it excited gas, causing it to glow like a neon light.
These photo's were taken with a Nikon F50 35mm SLR on Kodak Gold 200 film. Lens was a Nikon Zoom set at 38mm. Exposures between 8 seconds and 2 minutes. The exposure meter said 8 seconds was good but 30 sec seemed to give the best results. Even longer exposures (2min) produced the very rich red pictures below.
|Looking eastover the 9000ft Wasatch range. The green glow had extend from the far north down to the south east of us. Then things started to change and red shafts began appearing.|
|The green still in the far north with the red now on top extending to over head. Caseopia lies in hte area at the top of the green.|
|Looking away as changes occured in differnt parts of the sky and then when you looked back, that had changes also.|
|Still looking north|
|Back to the east and everything is deep read|
|Shafts of red extend in the east|
|Directly overhead. Bottom of picture is north. The bright star at the bottom is the base of the Big Dipper.It looked like a comet was passing by very very close.The tail extending from overhead into the north.|
|Later the red extended further south. Bottom of picture is south now. The neighbours roof is just visible in the bottom left corner. This give you an idea of how far south the red extended.|
|Longer exposure brought out more color (2min). Looking south still.Note star trail.|
|This is looking west south west. House lite by street light out the front.|
|Around 0200hrs it had all retreated to the north again. Shafts of light raise vertically in the green glow. The red was all but gone at this stage.|