Sunday, June 25, 2017

More Aurora and Night Sky Pics from the South Pole!

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to try to get into a little night sky and aurora photography while down here at the South Pole. This was largely inspired by my friends and colleagues Martin and Robert who have done some amazing photography down here.  Well, really, it was inspired by them and my mom who kept bugging me to get my own pics.  In fairness it is nice to finally have a few of my own... So, I guess thanks Mom!  There are also a handful of others who are also taking some amazing pics, and hopefully in a future post I can link to some of their work as well.  In the mean time, I have put together a quick blog post with a few of my pics from a couple days ago. I went out to get a some photos of the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud, mostly because at the time it was finally clear and there weren't even any noticeable auroras out. I was actually talking to another person on station, Hunter who is another of our great photographers, and until recently he has been trying to get pictures of the Milky Way, but for him the aurora kept getting in the way!  I am a little less picky and don't mind the aurora, but thought I would take advantage of the clear skies to get in a few more traditional night sky shots.  It took me a few tries to really get the images I was trying to get, as you will see if you look at the full album linked to below.  Eventually, however, I got a few really good photos of the Milky Way and the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds.

As it turns out, however, you can't go very long without those "pesky" auroras showing back up down here! After taking a few of the more traditional pictures, I ended up getting a ton of aurora shots.  It was actually surprising how bright some of the aurora were after it had been so clear! They were also very dynamic, so I was able to get a ton of different shots all within a relatively short amount of time. I am still experimenting with the photography so that is why some pictures are brighter than others.  I also don't do any post-editing which could bring out some of the colors a little better. I might do this in the future, but for now, the pictures are a little more raw.

The photos below are a small selection of the full set with a little bit of commentary.  The full album is located at  https://goo.gl/photos/rCrTdSzRFdYtV8Xy8.
 

The Milky Way with the Large Magellanic Cloud in the upper left corner!


The Large Magellanic Cloud (center-ish) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (upper-left-ish).


Me, auroras, and the Milky Way!


I really like the structure of this one.


This one looks like a bird to me... maybe a phoenix!


Aurora under the Milky way!


The flag line leading to the dark sector is lit up with auroras!

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