Lunar coronae

The past weeks have been extremely busy with tours, preparations, studies and last but not least family time. Oh, and some other projects but I will talk about those another time.

A few days ago I returned from a tour in Lapland. Most nights were cloudy but luckily we also saw auroras. But that wasn’t all, the moon gave us a special show. The nights were around -15..-25C and fog pads were in the air. Due to the cold temperature it consisted of ice crystals. Sometimes the high clouds were just perfect to create multiple moon coronae (at least I think thats the correct term). The colors and shape were very distinct, something totally new for me. For a while I forgot about auroras :D. So, here it is. Winter wonderland under a wonderous moon.

Lunar coronae in Lapland, Finland.

Halo shadows

Moon halos are a wonderful phenomenom during those cold winter nights, especially when the ground is covered with lots and lots of snow. Trees and other plants will casts strong, clear-shaped shadows as you see here.
In January 2018 you’ll have the chance to join my photo tour in Lapland, where I’ll instruct all about landscape and night photography in magical places 🙂

Moon halo and shadows

Moon halo

In Haukipudas was one of the best moon halos of this autumn so far. I went out for auroras but a lot of fog made it difficult to see. Plus I missed the best part of the show. Luckily that fog worked at the same time wonders with the moon, drawing a wonderful circle around it. This particular halo is a so-called 22° halo and is ‘made’ by countless ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Have you ever seen a halo around the moon sometimes?

Moon halo

Thin clouds

When I go to find Northern lights I always try to find a place without any clouds. But sometimes it just isn’t possible. When there are clouds, I’m actually trying to make them a strong element in my photo.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

‘Wind’

I found this group of trees near Oulu about a year ago and finally the conditions were right to work with them. The tricky part was to get the right amount of trees inside the frame without cutting any of them badly. After many trials I finally found this composition here to work the best for me.

Thin clouds covered the sky and Northern lights were just strong enough to shimmer through them. Through the trees you can see the bright moon lighting up the clouds. The orange color was from some town lights nearby; I think this orange color goes quite well with the aurora green here.

From this trees I got more photos and I’ll post them later on. So now it’s time to search for new locations with nice tree formations.

 

An April aurora adventure

A few nights back on April 11/12 2014, wonderful auroras appeared in the skies above Oulunsalo, Finland. I’ve been out with my cameras for six hours, almost half of that time waiting for clouds to go away. At times I couldn’t see any stars but more often than not…

Copyright: Thomas Kast

… auroras were visible through through the clouds. Here you can see an arc rising and on the right are some needles. Wind brought more clouds and I was considering to leave.

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Fortunately I didn’t give up and later the clear skies revealed a wonderful surprise for me. There was an aurora arc and it went all the way up over my head and down on the other side!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Around 1am the arc got stronger and wider and suddenly exploded over the frozen lake revealing countless needles…

Copyright: Thomas Kast

… which turned into a corona right above my head. The feeling when those rays spread out in all directions cannot be described. Look at this!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

An hour or so later, another strong but not so colorful corona was visible…

Copyright: Thomas Kast

… and I stayed until dawn made it difficult to see auroras. On the right you can see the beginning of the sunrise. An amazing night came to an end and it took me a long time to fall asleep 🙂

Bang! – last night (11/12 April 2014)

Last night I witnessed a stunning and unexpected aurora show in the skies of Oulunsalo, Finland. I had to wait many hours for the skies to clear completely and was rewarded with this view! It’s hard to describe the feelings I had, but I’ll try to do that in my next blog post 🙂

 

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Corona building up over the frozen lake.

 

 

Months of auroral frostration – clear skies ahead?

It is the first day of March and I’m looking hopefully into the coming weeks. Clear skies is what me and many others here in Oulu and in the whole of Finland are waiting for. The past months have not only been exceptionally warm but also very, very cloudy. Don’t get me wrong, I love clouds – if they have some structure and nice shapes, but what we had was a flat layer of boring clouds.

Luckily it wasn’t cloudy everywhere around the globe, so I’ve seen many aurora photos from other places. It’s good to see that all the solar wind coming to Earth isn’t wasted behind thick clouds.

Today I’m looking through my photos from March 2013 which brings me a smile to my face. Here are some of them, perhaps you’ll be smiling too 🙂

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Strong auroras above Oulu

Copyright: Thomas Kast

One night a huge moon was visible and I tried my first shots at the moon

Copyright: Thomas Kast

A night to remember, March 17/18

Copyright: Thomas Kast

A selfie 🙂