Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

P.S. from Summit

Green Sky Over Greenland

September 27, 2011: Aurora and star trails over Summit Station, Greenland. Photo: Ed Stockard. Originally published on

Several folks sent a link to today because another image by Ed Stockard (long-time colleague and frequent field notes contributor) was featured on the site. Ed shot the image, republished above, earlier this week at Summit Station during a period of intense solar wind activity.

This image got me to thinking about the man behind the curtain. How’d he do that?

Ed says he used a Photoshop program that digitally “stacked” a group of photos into one image. He tinkered with the results, adjusting “contrast, levels, size, sharpening,” and so on.

“It did turn out pretty good,” Ed writes from Summit Station. “It was 133 photos of several hundred in a time-lapse I made that night. The time-lapse is really cool (in my opinion) but it is so large I can’t share that over the Internet. . . . I’ve done a few time-lapse, one last night at -40, the camera and timer survived but I’ve also been working on that aspect too—little tricks to keep batteries alive and equipment warm, etc. Fun stuff that keeps me out of trouble!”

Ed and four others are currently at Summit Station, up on the Greenland ice sheet, ushering the U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research station into the winter period. says that Earth’s magnetic field (which responds to the charged particles emitted by the sun) will remain “unsettled” for the next few days. Keep that camera warm, Ed!—Kip Rithner

One thought on “P.S. from Summit

  1. Ed Stockard

    Well, I tweaked a few things on one of my time-lapse series and posted it to the flickr site. It came out okay. The higher res version is much better but this works for now. I also am going to work on the frames per second and see if I can make it flow a bit better…. a work in progress.

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