The second great aurora of March 2017

On 27 March 2017, the big storms passed allowing a brief window of time to capture another lovely display of the aurora due to the same coronal hole that generated the fantastic event of 1-2 March.

I set out at about 10:30 pm seeing a window in the weather. Lightening was flashing around, particularly to the north of me, to the north of Canberra. The sky was clear but the air heavily laden with moisture.

After a few minutes, a friend drove by also seeking the aurora and we decided to pick up the chase together. Conditions did not improve so we switched to another spot to the west of us in the hope of clearer skies. The skies were clear but the atmospheric conditions, low cloud and fog to the south meant our photos of the aurora were limited to a small patch of pink in amongst the clouds barely recognisable as an aurora. I was thinking about pulling stump as my companion had a 7 am start at work the following morning we parted company.

I decided on one more roll of the dice and decided to head too my tree spot. There much to my satisfaction I found much clearer skies and began to capture the aurora. However fog and moisture was still and issue and so I decided to seek clearer skies down towards Caloola farm were I got a nice view and a pano. I then headed to the Orroral Valley. Unfortunately the conditions weren't ideal and the view to the south was not as clear as I thought with low hills blocking some of the view south. It was at this point I decided to go home with one stop at Fitzs Hill to try and get another shot. It was there that I was rewarded with my best shots at around 1000 m above sea level at around 2 am. Driving up to Fitzs hill I drove through bands of fog.

Within about 10 minutes a dense fog suddenly enveloped where I was causing the auroral display to be obliterated. I was only 40 or so metres from the car and I could barely see it. It was a sober reminder of how dangerous mountain weather can be.

Here are a few shots from the evening. The last shot in the gallery is from the following night to highlight how much weaker the display had become.

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