Here’s The Best Way To View The Northern and Southern Lights

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If your Facebook feed is anything like mine, it’s filled with gorgeous images of the Northern and Southern Lights!

I went out and looked to the skies last night and was unable to see anything, but tonight I get to try again. I’ve learned some things to make my chances of viewing them better and I’m here to share that with you.

As you may know, this is the result of one of the strongest geomagnetic storms hitting Earth. We normally do not get this chance in the South, so I really want to experience it tonight.

I’ve learned that the best way to view the aurora borealis is by using your cell phone! I saw many people post images taken with their phones, but they mentioned they couldn’t see it with the naked eye.

Yes, it is possible to view the aurora borealis with the naked eye, but not here where I am.

Using a cell phone or a high-quality camera is the best way to see the Northern and Southern lights and I just so happen to have both of those things.

The reason this works is because our smartphones are great at capturing things in low-light situations.

Using a long exposure will produce an even better image that you just can’t witness with the naked eye. So be sure to mess around with both exposure time as well as your ISO settings on your camera or phone.

Night mode is typically taking multiple images, like maybe five to ten images at a set speed that it optimizes for. And then it compares the images to find the best ones and basically combines those into your final image. It does dark subtraction and flat fielding, which removes distortions, and also removes some of the graininess.

Sten Odenwald – astronomer & educator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told The Verge

So go ahead and make sure your batteries are charged, then hit the road to a place with not so much light pollution. Good luck!

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