Visibility III / V
My observation site is 20 km south of Poroo, a really dark (in winter) place by the sea. I spend my holidays and weekends there wondering the wonders of heaven; especially deep sky targets with a reasonable scope and camera arsenal.
Three weeks after Midsummer, SpaceWeather started to warn of mass solar eruptions, of which on July 14, 2000 sunspot group 9077 caused an X5-level dash straight towards Earth.
Tähdet ja võis magazine had talked about night clouds illuminating digital camera pictures, so I had already spent several nights shooting them with the Olympus Camedia C-3030ZOOM. They were dim and barely stood out in the pictures.
I sat in my ragged observation chair, which had missed the Leonids many times, and watched the summer triangle play hide and seek with cloud rafts. The full moon laughed every now and then behind my back, polluting the rest of the light summer sky.
Around one o'clock a red color started to appear. From the eastern horizon I observed a very dim reddish area rising from the horizon to 30 degrees; at times it was very unbelievable and only with a distant eye did you get some kind of idea of it. But a familiar phenomenon caught me off guard and my head was spinning like crazy for the next half hour.
At 01:10, weak green rays began to appear around Vega, which was near the zenith, and after a while they reached the western horizon - the red flag in the east had already dimmed.
The fiddling with the digital camera started and after a couple of flashes of the flash, the adjustments started to be more on point. 01:16 I got the first of four pictures.
01:20 The corona had already formed and I snapped the rest of the pictures here and there, I got the SLR camera, the western sky was already a zebra. I got a whopping two slides exposed when the repos turned off and clouds started to appear.
I sat still staring until two o'clock. The sun's glare was already getting on my nerves. There was not a single strip of repos added. The night clouds were on their way. The wind started to pick up and the toes were freezing.
After a couple of hours, I downloaded the pictures to my laptop and they were - considering the circumstances - unavoidable. I sent one to SpaceWeather's Tony Phillips, who put it on their homepage. The storm was a G5 level - wish it had been dark...
See also Tähdet ja Avaruus magazine 2000/5 page 55.
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Hieno havainto. Yhtä lailla hienoa on lukea, millaista digikameralla kuvaaminen oli kyseisen tekniikan alkuaskeleiden aikaan. On kehitystä tapahtunut. Nykyään homma on melkein liiankin helppoa :D
Komea havis ja kuvat!
Komeasti ollut pilkuja silloinkin.