Cool aurora photos taken from plane

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Astroimagers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre are longtime friends and contributors to Astronomy. Last week, during that phenomenal outbreak of aurorae generated in the wake of the big solar flare, they caught some magnificent images during their flight from Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles, California. “It was Thursday, March 8,” said Imelda, “and we were cruising at an altitude of 34,000 feet (10,360 meters) somewhere over Minnesota.”

Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre
Imelda and Edwin knew their chances of seeing aurorae that night were high. The geomagnetic storm going on from the previous day’s X5-class flare was raging. “We first noticed the aurora’s greenish glow along the horizon as the plane was approaching Wisconsin,” she said. “By the time we were over Minnesota, the display had reached its peak. Around this time, the captain noticed the display and made a PA announcement so that others on board could see it.”

All of the photos here were hand-held, using a Canon EOS 7D DSLR camera and a 16–35mm lens. The exposure times were about 1 second at ISO 3200.

This was just the third time the pair had seen an aurora — check out their great photos!

(They also shot one of the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter — see last photo.)




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