The Cabin

Spotting Wisconsin's Northern Lights (ft. Sam Warfel)

Episode Summary

The roof comes off as we welcome Sam Warfel, nature photographer and UW-Madison astrophysicist major into The Cabin walls and look to the sky. Sam will share with us how you can spot the Aurora Borealis (aka "the Northern Lights"), how and why it happens, apps you can use to navigate the night sky, plus how and where to get great photographs and videos of astral phenomena across the night sky. You'll love the atmosphere of this episode - literally.

Episode Notes

The Cabin is presented by the Wisconsin Counties Association and this week we’re featuring Waupaca County:  

The Cabin is also brought to you by Group Health Trust:  

Campfire Conversation:

Ana, Eric, and Jake welcome Sam Warfel to The Cabin to explore the opportunities Wisconsinites have for observing and capturing the Aurora Borealis (aka "the Northern Lights"). Sam shares much of the science behind it, how solar flares and sunspot activity interact with the Earth's magnetosphere to create it, and how people can see it, enjoy it, and photograph it effectively - including with the differences a camera might show versus the naked eye. Sam discusses best practices for using your camera - including professional cameras with specialty lenses right down to what you can accomplish with the phone in your pocket - to capture the best views along with how you can overcome interferences to night sky views such as city lights, clouds, and bright objects in the sky that may overwhelm what you're targeting. They also discuss amazing sights in the night sky beyond the Northern Lights, ranging from nearby planets to distant galaxies. He also shares some of the best locations in Wisconsin for viewing the night sky - including passes you can get that allow you to stay in a park later or overnight, beyond the time when the park normally closes. If you like science, photography, and particularly the amazing views at night from our state with the Northern Lights and beyond, this is a "must listen" episode. 

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