Aurora At 35,000 Feet

August 07, 2004


Provided by: Rick Stankiewicz
Summary authors & editors: Rick Stankiewicz

On March 20 of 2001, I was flying on a late flight from Hamilton to Winnipeg and witnessed a magnificent auroral display. I happened to have a north side seat, and when we were west of Thunder Bay (around 9:45 p.m.), I looked out over the wing tip and noticed a strangely familiar glow along the distant curve of the horizon. We were at 35,000 feet (10.668 m) and traveling 500 mph (800 kmh), and the dance of the northern lights was underway. I was fortunate enough to have my Canon F1 camera, wide angle lens and tripod with me on this flight, so I started taking pictures (ASA 200 film was all I had with me) like I would if I were on the ground. With the camera pressed against the window and set for time exposures of 20 to 40 seconds, I was able to register a number of interesting images, like the one above.

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