On the Aurora Chasing Trail

As requests to speak about my passion roll in, I am living the dream!

The guidebook I wrote and published, “Below the 45th Parallel,” has been way more popular than I anticipated, and I’ve been invited to share my advice and experiences at parks, libraries, arts centers, and colleges across the state of Michigan.

Helping people to achieve their dream of viewing the Northern Lights is such a rewarding experience, especially during this exciting time on our path to solar maximum, when the Aurora is dipping much farther south! Just in the last two months, Aurora have been seen dancing down to the southern border of the United States, with people catching sightings in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Virginia during strong displays in late March and April 2023.

I, too, have been lucky enough to catch the elusive Aurora at very low latitudes, with brilliant color visible to the eye, during these displays. I was thrilled to experience the Northern Lights on February 26-27, 2023 southwest of Lansing, Michigan, observing pillars of colorful light at the 42nd Parallel. Then I caught them again on March 23-24, 2023, near Elba, Michigan, viewing explosive pillars and formations, with beautiful but subtle greens and purples visible to the eye.

Actually, now that we have seen reoccuring G3 Storms and G4 Storms in 2023, Aurora have been visible across the entire state of Michigan — and the entire Great Lakes region — on three separate nights, given clear skies. These powerful geomagnetic storms brought impressive Aurora strength and pushed the Northern Lights south into many states, with the displays beginning on February 26, March 23, and April 23, 2023.

Could it happen again? Absolutely! In fact, I think our journey to the 11-year solar maximum in 2025 is just getting started. It’s a great time to start observing the night sky!

While I don’t consider myself an aurora photographer, because I don’t carry a DSLR or tripod on the chase, I have been able to capture spectacular photos and pinpoint stars on my iPhone 14. Modern phone cameras have come so far in low-light technology that anyone can capture the Aurora using their phone on night mode, or hold up a newer camera, point it north, and detect the Aurora Borealis with a test shot.

The Aurora pictured here was taken on March 23, 2023, near Elba, Michigan with my iPhone 14, steadied to be perfectly still and set to take a 30-second exposure.

Get in on the chase! You can learn a lot more about Aurora Chasing, the Michigan Aurora Chasers, my book, and my passion at the links below. Solar Cycle 25 is going to be one epic adventure!

Good luck on the Aurora Chasing trail! 💥🌎☄️😎

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