People always ask me what the aurora looks like in reality. Some even ask if it’s actually visible to the naked eye.
Is it really as amazing as it looks in pictures? Is it really that bright and colorful and does it dance as it does in a timelapse video?
YES! I keep telling people yes! It is that amazing, it dances across the sky like massive waves of light, it fades out only to come back even stronger. Some nights it’s just a faint green glow, seemingly stationary. Other nights it’s rapidly shooting across the sky, creating ripples of pink and green as it moves.
Aurora can cover almost the entire sky and you’re standing there beneath it all. Not knowing where to look because in every direction there’s this unbelievable beauty, always changing, always moving. It’s a sight you’ll never forget and it’s an experience that strikes you at your core.
I’m lucky to be living far above the arctic circle. Every season for as long as I can remember I’ve seen this light show in the sky but I will never get tired of it. How could you?
October 4, 2016, using the Sony a7S
On Tuesday night, October 4th, the sky was on fire. The aurora flared up and gave me an amazing show. A show I wish everyone would get the chance to experience. On this night I was finally able to record the aurora dancing in the sky in real-time! Thanks to this new wave of “see in the dark” cameras we can now document our night sky as it looks when we’re standing there.
I used the mirrorless Sony a7S camera which has a full frame sensor. With ISO up to 409600(!) it truly sees in the dark. This video is shot at ISO 32000. On my other cameras the noise at those levels would leave images unsalvageable but thanks to the large pixels on the a7s it came out remarkably good at 32000. (Note: I have done some noise reduction in post processing.)
This is not a timelapse, it’s not several long exposures put together. This is the aurora, as it happened, as I saw it, here in Kiruna, Sweden, on the night of October 4th, and I’m so happy to be able to share this with you!
So Yes! The aurora is just that amazing, it is that brilliant, bright and beautiful. I hope you all will get to experience the show live someday.