St. Patrick’s Day 2015 Aurora

St Patrick’s Day 2015 saw the largest solar storm of the last decade or so hit the earth.  Unfortunately for us in North America, it was almost at Kp 9, an insanely high amount during the daytime.  The storm was so powerful it knocked out HAM radio communication and even part of the GPS system.

Fortunately, the storm continued at a still very high Kp 7 and Kp8 just after sunset here in Ontario.  The result was some lovely aurora,  from our vantage point just outside the now-closed Elginfield Observatory north of London.  Not as spectacular as it could have been, but at this latitude, any aurora is welcome.

I was particularly thrilled to have so much social media interest in this timelapse, which is roughly 1h 15mins in length, compressed down to 27 seconds at 24fps.  Each shot is a 6 second exposure at ISO 3200 at 24mm @ F5 on a Canon 6d.

The video was picked up by CTV Media and shown across Ontario on local CTV stations newscasts, as well as CP24.  Probably the most excitement I’ve had in one day, including an interview with CTV as well.  Lots of fun, and a great night.  Not as dramatic as my first Aurora experience in this area on Oct 24, 2011 where the entire sky was lit up, and the aurora was directly overhead, but a darn fine night.

I’d encourage you to watch it full screen, at 1080p for the best show!