Webcams spot ‘aurora that nearly got away’

Aurora over Mount Adams
The colors of the aurora glow above Mount Adams in a webcam photo. ( Photo)

You may not have been able to see the northern lights that arced over Western Washington and other northern regions of the U.S. early this morning, but your camera might have caught it.

Space weather forecasters said there was a heightened chance of auroral displays over the weekend, due to a storm of electrically charged particles that the sun shot in our direction a couple of days earlier.

Aurora-watchers in Canada and the Upper Midwest came up with spectacular  pictures  overnight, but the effect was more hit-or-miss in Washington state.

The best strategy is to set a digital camera on a tripod for a long, long exposure – long enough to capture stars in the frame.

That’s why the webcam, set up south of the mountain in Trout Lake, Wash., got such great shots.

See more pictures on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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