After a summer with very little solar storm activity, some peaks have started to occur as we move into autumn. Last week saw a night with very strong aurora activity, visible across much of North America, even as far south as Ohio and Oregon. Unfortunately, Vancouver was under complete cloud cover during that display.
Last night, another burst of activity was forecast, and although the strength looked only barely high enough to be visible as far south as Vancouver, I decided to take advantage of a clear sky and new moon and see if I could capture anything. From around 9:00pm to 11:30pm, there was relatively little activity, mainly a constant but faint green glow on the horizon, almost invisible to the eye, but after 11:30pm, the display got considerably stronger, being both clearly visible to the eye and to the camera.
Most of the time it stayed as a steady, twisting green on the horizon, but occasionally there were these wonderful red and purple bursts of activity higher in the sky, lighting up the area around the Big Dipper.
This was photographed in a small bay in the village of Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, looking north towards Bowyer Island, Anvil Island, Bowen Island and Gambier Island. On the right of the shot are the west slopes of the mountains in Cypress Provincial Park. The post is one of three that appear to be the remnants of a small pier.aurora borealis howe sound night sky