The clouds of the night before had brought some snow with them and the next morning was rather wintry. By midday however the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining. It’s amazing what a difference a blue sky makes! And the sky stayed rather clear during most of the night with only a few scattered clouds moving in. While this had temperatures dropping to about a rather chilly -8 °F / -22 °C again, it also meant good weather conditions for aurora viewing and photographing. Solar activity however was still rather low and I was sure glad I picked Yellowknife as my destination.
By 11 pm the northern lights were dancing across the night sky again. As I still wanted to get the Moon on at least one of my aurora photographs and the moon would not rise until 2:06 am in the night, I decided to gamble a bit. I knew I would not make it from the beginning of the aurora display to when the Moon would be high enough to photograph because of low temperatures and lack of sleep. So I stayed up a bit to simply watch and enjoy the northern lights for a little while and then set my alarm and went to bed for a little nap. When I got up a few hours later, I saw the Moon! It had waned quite a bit since two nights ago but was still at about 75% illumination. It had also risen a bit further south. The aurora borealis was still somewhat active but far from what it had been earlier. But unfortunately, Moon and aurora did not want to make it into one picture on this vast open sky, at least not into the kind of picture I wanted to shoot. So I tried a few things but the aurora was just not bright enough and also decided to dance where it wanted, surprisingly. The photos I shot were nowhere near those of two nights ago. So I packed up and went to bed again. Gamble lost. Lesson learned though: always take the first chance you get, you might not get another one!
But hey, I already had a great night photographing the aurora and there still is one more to go. I will not get my Moon photograph though, as the Moon will rise even later tonight, too late for me as I will have to be off to the airport by then. But before that, I will hopefully get a few more northern lights captured. I will add the Moon photograph to my bucket list for later. And in the meantime, enjoy the aurora flip book above!