Expert Voices

Northern Lights Shimmer in Gorgeous 5-Hour Time-Lapse (Video)

Auroras over Maine
(Image credit: Screenshot from video)

Mike Taylor has been a landscape and studio photographer for over 20 years and teaches night photography and processing-technique workshops for the public. His images recently illustrated the book "The Secret Galaxy" by Fran Hodgkins (Tilbury House Publishers, 2014). Taylor contributed this article to's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

On June 22, word went out that a boost of activity on the sun would produce stunning auroras, so I ventured to Moosehead Lake, located just above the 45-degree latitude.

The brightly colored illumination of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, is created by flares emitted by the sun, with the resulting solar winds striking the Earth's atmosphere to create charged particles that emit light. The resulting video consists of approximately 1,400 still frames that I captured between 10 p.m. EST on June 22, 2015, and 3 a.m. EST on June 23, 2015.

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All footage was captured with a Nikon D600 and Nikkor 14-24mm wide angle lens and a Nikon D7000 & Tokina 11mm to 16mm wide angle lens with the following settings: f/2.8 — 15 second exposures — ISO 1600 - 18 second interval (3 second gap in between exposures).

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