May 10th, 2024 Auroras

May 15, 2024 – The giant group of sunspots around AR3664 that caused a powerful geomagnetic storm in early May has now moved away from facing the Earth. A few days before it moved off on Friday, May 10th, beginning at 8:59 pm from my location in Northeastern Illinois, I received a notice from my phone app, which I use to monitor aurora activity, alerting me to auroras in my area. I stepped out of my backdoor, looked up, and saw vivid, moving curtains of reds and pinks. Calling out with excitement to my wife for her to hurry to the back to see the northern lights, I began moving quickly to get a tripod and camera set up in the backyard for an attempt to capture this rare event from this well-publicized powerful solar storm. For over an hour, red areas from the auroras would appear in the sky above me. Red auroras were also visible behind me, to the southeast. The backyard is surrounded by a few tall neighboring trees and powerlines, limiting my composition to a narrow view, so I mostly shot almost straight up, pointing a little north; that is why The Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major is in most of the images. As I would see the reddish glow from the auroras start to appear, I would get my camera on the area, click the remote shutter release, and do a 10-second exposure at 500 and 800 iso. I continued to take photos when the auroras would appear, which lasted until about 11:00, giving up around 11:30 when the sky finally went dark.