Consolation Prize

I stay awake at nights thinking about shooting the aurora. I'm sure if I lived in Fairbanks, I wouldn't think much of it, but it's rare that an auroral event occurs when it's dark, cloudless, moonless, and a clear northern view.

Apparently, a huge display happened yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was happening until the afternoon. The moon was out and was bright, so I just couldn't see it very well and I also think I missed the main event.

A northern view from a short way up the old Ascutney ski area. A crescent, but extremely bright moon was still high in the western sky, dimming the effect of the slightly noticeably red aurora on the right. Although the aurora was bright, the moon can easily overpower the amazing display at these relatively lower latitudes. (Mt. Ascutney, VT, St. Patrick's Day, 2013, Sony a77, iso 800, f/2.8, 30sec)

That being said, I always love night photography, and I decided an accessible northern view could be easily had with a short hike up the now defunct Ascutney ski area. Although the ski area is closed, the hotel is still open. The old chair still remains as does the snowmaking equipment.

I did wake up at 4am to see whether the aurora was still active, hoping to catch it over Dartmouth, but by then the activity had abated. Well, I did get a shot with the moon, a ski lift, some stars, and a touch of the aurora, so not a bad consolation prize.


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