Northern Lights 2015

All Photographs © Brian A. Morganti

East Central Pennsylvania - Northern Berks County

September 7, 2017

Our Sun may be heading toward a minimum in its 11-year cycle of activity, but that doesnít mean itís going completely quiescent. Events such as flares and sunspots still occur, including two immense flares released by our star on September 6th ó one of which was the strongest flare in nearly 11 years!

On September 7th Kp numbers of 8.33 & 8.67 were issued during the late evening hours, which was also the highest reading I had seen in several years.  Unfortunately the moon was just one day past full and and its blazingly bright light would be sure to wash out most of the aurora colors.  Worse, just as I started taking images around 10pm clouds started streaming in from the northwest and soon blocked out my view of the northern horizon. The following images are the best of the lot and exposures ranged from 8 - 20 seconds from a Canon 5D MII mounted with a 16-35mm f2.8L lens.  The predominate color was a pleasing blue tone with just a touch of green.  The almost daylight looking scene was the result of the nearly full moon's illumination.




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