A Grand Display

November 5-6, 2001
Photographs taken between 7:15 p.m., November 5, 2001 & 12:15 a.m., November 6, 2001

Sunday Morning, November 4, 2001: There is an X-class solar flare on the sun, and it's moving very fast.  Energy from this flare is projected to hit the earth's magnetosphere sometime after 6 p.m. on Monday, November 5, 2001.

Monday, November 5, 2001: I check the weather forecasts - one says increasing clouds for the evening, another says clear all night and a third says mostly clear - so there's hope! However, I note that the moon will rise around 8:45 p.m. - but if the northern lights are strong, that won't matter.

Monday, November 5, 2001 - 6:50 p.m.: I leave for the farm.  Upon driving north, I see no activity in the northern sky.  I turn onto a dirt road, and see along the side of the road, either a badger or a beaver.  I hit the brakes and slowly back up, but the animal is nowhere to be seen.

Monday, November 5, 2001 - 7:15 p.m.: I arrive at the farm, about 1 hour and 50 minutes after sunset, and step out of the vehicle.  The north sky to ~30 degrees is a bright glow.  I quickly drive to a different location to take pictures.  This activity is the result of a previous solar flare that hit the earth's magnetosphere earlier this afternoon and resulted in northern lights being seen in Europe.

Looking north.  

Looking northwest with the Big Dipper in the background.  Note the red tint behind the windmill.

Looking east-northeast at the bright glow.

Monday, November 5, 2001 - 7:35 p.m.: The activity starts to pick up some.  I see some rays starting to develop amongst the white glow.  This gives me hope of more activity to photo than just a glow.

Monday, November 5, 2001 - ~7:45 p.m.: All of a sudden, I see a red glow to the northwest.  Activity develops quickly.  I now see red to the north and to the east.  The northern lights can also be seen to the south - just overhead.  There's a green band stretching from the east-southeast to the west-northwest, about 120 degrees from the north horizon.

Looking northwest at the big dipper.

Looking northeast.

Looking northwest. 

Looking north.

Looking northwest.

Looking northwest.

Looking east-northeast.

Looking southeast.

A corona overhead.

Looking southeast.

Looking east. 

 Looking northwest - the color variation is awesome.

Monday, November 5, 2001 - 8:30 p.m.: I drive to a different location to get some new foregrounds.  I scare up some deer - one jumps the fence no more than 20 yards from me and runs through a field.  Obviously, I frightened the deer.

Looking west-northwest with clouds in the background.

Monday, November 5, 2001 - 8:45 p.m.: I drive to yet another location - a high point on the farm.  The moon is starting to rise to the northeast.  I take a number of photographs as I am surrounded by the northern lights.  There is a bright green arc to the south about 30 degrees above the horizon - this is an indication of the strength of the show which I predict is being seen in southern states tonight.  I photograph a corona overhead - a flock of birds migrating south breaks the silence.

The moon rising to the northeast with a faint green aurora in the background.

A corona overhead.

Looking east-southeast.  

Looking east-northeast with the rising moon.

Looking south at a green glow 30 degrees above the horizon.  The lights of Bismarck, 
ND - 15 miles away - are on the horizon.  

Looking east-northeast at the rising moon.

Looking east-southeast at the lights of Baldwin, ND.

A corona overhead.

Looking northeast at the rising moon, with Jupiter below.  

Looking northwest.

Part 2 - many additional photographs - please look!



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