Wyomingites Treated to Dazzling Northern Lights Thursday Night

The Northern Lights were spotted across Wyoming Thursday.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:34 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - It’s a sight to behold, and it’s on many bucket lists around the world... Seeing the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights, of course, are much more common up north in Canada and surrounding regions, but can be occasionally spotted in Wyoming as well.

Photographer David Kerr was lucky enough to snag the northern lights just 20 miles north of Casper Thursday night. He says his dad uses an app to track the northern lights and realized that Thursday night was the perfect opportunity.

“My dad has been obsessing about seeing the northern lights for pretty much his whole life, and so he has an app on his phone that tracks and gets notifications whenever there’s going to be a high chance of seeing them, so last night around 9pm he texts me up and goes, hey, there’s a good chance they’re gonna be out tonight, let’s go and just see.” Said David when asked how he came across the show.

This event could be seen with just the naked eye, however photographing these brilliant astral displays isn’t as easy.

David went on to say, “The cool thing with the photography is that I’m able to set my camera to take a long exposure shot, which essentially allows more light, more details, more colors into the camera, and so that’s how I was able to create those images. The photos I took were just about 15 seconds long, so it’s 15 seconds compressed into a single image which is pretty cool.”

The display could also be seen as far south as Cheyenne, as captured by Mike Morris on the outskirts of town.

Now, this is called a ‘Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement’, or ‘STEVE’ for short.

According to the Canadian Space Agency, this phenomenon is caused when billions of charged electrons and protons collide with gasses in our upper atmosphere, creating flashes of light that fill the sky with color.

Morris says, he felt really lucky to be able to catch such a spectacular moment. “It was a really rare phenomenon. I felt really lucky to catch the moment you know? It’s not something I take for granted. A lot of people travel to Alaska, Iceland, places like that, so when you get to catch it in your backyard it’s pretty cool, you know?”

You can also follow David Kerr on Instagram and keep up on his photography here.