BILLINGS — During the past few days, photographers across Montana have gotten to take the shots of their lifetime as the Aurora Borealis - also known as the Northern Lights - danced in the sky more prominently than they have in several months.
"All I can say is that it was epic. It was so beautiful. I knew we were going to have a little bit, but I did not expect as much as that," said photographer Sarah Sleaford from Rosebud.
Sleaford has been taking photos of the night sky near Forsyth since 2015, but she hasn't seen anything like the electromagnetic show Mother Nature put on a few nights back.
"This is the first time in about two years that we've had perfect conditions. No moon. No wind. Not a single cloud in the sky for eastern Montana. It was perfect," Sleaford said.
From her front yard in Rosebud, Sleaford left her camera's shutter open for about 15 seconds to capture a photo of her husband, Tell Sleaford, standing on top of a vehicle. To see more of her work, visit her Facebook page by clicking here.
You didn't even need a professional camera to capture the capture the beauty. Any old cell phone would have done the trick. Kelsey Hansen, an amateur photographer from Billings, took the photo seen below about 15 miles outside of Roundup on Wednesday night. Hansen said her phone's camera saw what her eyes could not.
"It definitely wasn't as vibrant as when you took a picture. That took me by surprise. Phones take some incredible pictures these days. Much more than a couple of years ago. It just automatically had the night mode on and it soaked up all of the light and the exposure and all of that. They just turned out incredible," Hansen said.
Jennifer Bagley owns Phoenix Photography in Billings.
She took the amazing photo seen below north of Laurel on Wednesday night with her model Sam Edwards.
"It was literally just looking at the forecast and deciding this is when it's going to be best, between nine and twelve. So lets go out and see what we can get," Bagley said.
"It's crazy because she sees it. So I'm thinking we're looking at fog or clouds or something and then streaks start happening and I'm like, oh my gosh. This is really cool," Edwards added.
View more of Bagley's photos at her Facebook page by clicking here.
The photographers told said the solar cycle is looking good for more northern lights shots over the course of the summer, so photographers should get their cameras ready.
Two good resources for knowing when the Aurora Borealis might be visible in our area are the Space Weather Prediction Center and Soft Serve News. Jim Thomas, the operator of Soft Serve News, posts frequent updates to let people know how likely it is that the Northern Lights may be visible.
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