ST. LOUIS – It’s not every day you get to see one of Earth’s natural wonders of the world in the Show Me State.
However, on Sunday night, due to a geomagnetic storm, the aurora borealis stretched into several states, including Missouri, and if you were lucky enough, you may have caught a glimpse.
“I’d never photographed the northern lights, so this was kind of a really unique opportunity,” said David Carson, a photographer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Carson saw photos of the northern lights on social media, to his surprise. He said he had heard of northern lights sightings in Missouri before, but had never truly seen them for himself. So when he saw the photos online, he grabbed his daughter, Ava, who is also a photographer, and drove 80 minutes north to Clarksville.
“To your eyes, you could see it, and you could see some of the pillar,” Carson said. But it was the camera that really allowed the colors to come through.”
He and Ava spent a couple of hours taking photos of the phenomenon, which is rarely seen in Missouri.
“I’m glad to bring her along and show her the things I’m passionate about,” Carson said. “It’s fun and exciting. We high-fived when we saw it, and we were like, that was pretty cool, so it’s fun to be able to share that with your daughter.”
It took him and Ava a few camera adjustments before they snapped the perfect photo.
“I went to my camera and I fixed the settings, and I stood back and I waited,” Ava said. “A couple seconds later and this beautiful image pops up on my screen, and it’s that exact moment that you think you’ve been looking for with the aurora borealis with the green mixing with the night sky.”
Since the pair got back around 4 a.m. Monday, Ava was able to skip her first period to sleep in.
“I think what she learned there is better than anything she would have got in class,” Carson said. “She’s a smart kid too, so she’ll be fine.”