The northern lights have made their first appearance of the season. Actually I heard there was a good display a couple week ago but I missed it. The other night during work, Scott the intern informed me the Aurora was visible. I spent the majority of the next 2 hours outside watching it evolve. One long arch from west to east drifted southward overhead and then 2 other arches appeared to the north of the first. There weren't any real bright periods or any reds that showed up but it was still a great first show...would have been a lot better to be away from the city lights.
Unfortunately I did not have my camera but I thought I would share some photos I took last year of an awesome event. The Aurora wasn't that spectacular but what made it special was the Noctilucent clouds. Noctilucent clouds are rare clouds that are so high (800 to 100 km) in the atmosphere that they will remain illuminated white long after the sun has set. They are in the mesosphere on the fringe of space and are made up of ice crystals and are most commonly seen in the high latitudes during the summer months. Combine all that with a nice auroral event and it made for some nice pictures. I took 24 pics that night experimenting with different exposures...here are a couple that turned out pretty good.