October begins with aurora’s glowing showing

Photo: Aurora by Christopher Christie
Aurora borealis of October 2, 2013 photographed by Christopher Christie

A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth’s magnetic field during the early hours of October 2, sparking a geomagnetic storm. In North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into more than a dozen northern-tier US states, including Northern Ohio. The CME left the sun on Sept. 30, propelled by an erupting magnetic filament, racing away from the Sun at 2 million MPH.

CAA members David Nuti and Christopher Christie observed the light show from Lake Erie’s southern shoreline and captured some images. Presented here is one we think is pretty spectacular!

Photo Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T3: ISO 800, 12 sec., f/3.5, 18mm, 12:41 AM, October 2, 2013.

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Too much of a good thing?

Photo: Aurora by David Nuti
Aurora as Seen in Canada, August 2013 – David Nuti

CAA member David Nuti was on vacation in backwoods Canada recently. He did a little fishing and, at night, took full advantage of clear, truly dark skies to do a little stargazing. He did note, however, that his view of the stars was obscured at times by bright lights in the sky. No, it wasn’t light pollution in the sense with which we are all too familiar. Nuti’s view of the stars was hindered by the sky itself in the form of brilliant auroras or “Northern Lights!” Too much of a good thing, perhaps? He shared a couple of photographs with us of a display that took place around midnight, Aug. 13 – 14, 2013.

Photo: Aurora as Seen in Canada, August 2013 - David Nuti
Aurora as Seen in Canada, August 2013 – David Nuti

Photographic Notes: Nikon D5000, 18mm lens (27mm equiv.), top image – ISO 450, f/5.0, 30 sec.; bottom image – ISO 3200, f/5.0, 40 sec.

Andromeda from Up North

Photo: Andromeda Galaxy by David Nuti
Andromeda Galaxy with Two Satellite Galaxies

On a recent trip to the back woods of Canada, CAA member David Nuti did a little fishing and a little stargazing. We don’t know how the fishing went, but when it came to sky-watching, the “big one” did not get away. Nuti shared a beautiful astrophotograph with the membership and we’re sharing it here: the Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31) appears as a beautiful cloud in the center of this image. Closer inspection reveals he caught a couple of Andromeda’s “satellite galaxies” — smaller “island universes” captured by Andromeda’s enormous gravitational attraction. Messier 110 (M110) is seen here as a glowing spot directly above Andromeda’s glowing center. M32 appears as a golden spot little below and to the right of the galactic giant. Some curving structure may be seen in Andromeda’s faint disk of stars and dust.

Photographic Notes: Nikon D5000, f/5.6, 181 seconds, ISO 3200, 300mm lens — 450mm equivalent