An Olympia Aurora Borealis

Last night I started getting alerts that the global Kp, which can be used to predict the Aurora Borealis, was getting to a level that could lead to the northern lights might be able to be seen in Western Washington.  I have been wanting to get some sort of the Aurora Borealis since moving north from Arizona last year but one of the biggest challenges in the Puget Sound are is the cloud cover that we have most of the time, but last night all the chip sort of fell into place.

The global Kp hit 7, somewhere around 6 is when we should have a chance to see them, for the most part it was a clear night and I didn’t have to get up early the next morning for work.  We headed down to the capital campus and while the aurora was VERY FAINT to the naked eye, the camera was able to capture it.  There are some other places I want to try to capture it from, but this location at the capital has been first on my list since moving to Olympia.

I do ask that you click on this image to see a larger version, there is a lot more details on the larger version than here in the smaller blog version!

This entry was posted in Photography.


  1. Arun Rohila August 3, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    It’s supposed to be a 5 tonight between midnight and 3 am and should be clear. I was looking at doing that too, but can’t find a place to get the capitol building in the foreground with the aurora behind it.

    Thanks for posting. What ISO are you using?

    • ScottWood August 3, 2016 at 9:31 am #

      I try to use as low of an ISO as possible, a lot will depend on how bright the aurora is compared to the foreground elements you include. Since you will have a lot of light if you shoot over a town, such as Olympia, you have to be careful not to go to high.

      As for it being a kP5, that is probably to low for Olympia, it really needs to be a 6 or higher.

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