Wyoming Photographer Captures Beautiful Images of Aurora Borealis
In life, there are certain things that are once-in-a-lifetime. Aurora Borealis, or the 'Northern Lights,' for example, are absolutely once-in-a-lifetime.
That's something that Wyoming photographer Breanna Klamm Whitlock realized, which is why she found herself outside Thursday morning, taking incredible photos of those Northern Lights.
"These images were taken at Desmit just north of Buffalo," Whitlock, an artist with Xtreme Concepts, told K2 Radio News. "I really became interested in the Northern Lights about a year ago. Last March, there was a lot of hype about the Northern Lights being visible in Wyoming. That was my first experience photographing the aurora. I’ve been kinda hooked since, and I watch the aurora alerts pretty closely. This was my third time catching them."
'Catching them' is a perfect description. You never can tell when you might be able to see the Northern Lights, let alone photograph them.
"I wasn’t expecting anything last night but ended up being awake at 1am when all the alerts started to come in," Whitlock said. "Usually I don’t see the alerts until the next morning. It took me until about 2 a.m. to get out to a spot where the lights and mountains weren’t in the way. I set up my tripod, camera and lens and took photos until 3 a.m.-ish. It was super cold and by then my fingers were very frozen!"
The end absolutely justified the means, however, as the photos that Whitlock took showcased the aurora in all of its splendor.
For those unaware, the Northern Lights Centre defines Aurora Borealis as "collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as 'Aurora borealis' in the north and 'Aurora australis' in the south."
The Centre states that the Northern Lights are "the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth's atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. The most common auroral color, a pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora."
Whitlock managed to capture all sorts of different colors Thursday morning and the results are breathtaking.
Photos of the Northern Lights can be seen below: