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January 25, 2012 Auroras

Lake of the Woods

This was my first long distance aurora chase. I wanted to see auroras in January, or at least some point during the winter, and the magnetic field had tipped south, but it was cloudy in Grand Rapids. I decided to drive to the northwest, out of the clouds, and into areas with great aurora viewing. I finally cleared the clouds near Waskish, but I needed to get to Lake of the Woods northwest of Baudette before the clouds were completely gone. It was a great scene out on the big lake with its expansive horizon, affording me visibility of the entire auroral oval. It was just a plain green oval for a couple hours, but finally, some structure showed up. It got late, and I had to leave to get to work in time, but the auroras were still going, so I set the camera in the back window of the car and continued my time lapse photography from there.

Nice Auroras
Finally clearing the clouds on MN 72 north of Waskish with auroras to the north.
Nice Auroras
A little farther north, the oval is a bit closer. The lights just to the left of the road on the horizon are not from Baudette but from a cold weather automobile test facility.
Nice Auroras
Auroral oval on Lake of the Woods.
Nice Auroras
After a long wait, some structure appears in the aurora.
Nice Auroras
A self-portrait before I have to go home.
Nice Auroras
View from the back window driving home at 4:21 AM.

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