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The Aurora Summit brings Aurora enthusiasts in the mid-latitudes together for a weekend workshop in the U.S. Launched in 2017, the inaugural event attracted visitors from eight states and two countries, earning media coverage.

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SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

Scientists, Authors, Photographers and Storm Chasers Converge at Annual Aurora Summit to Celebrate the Northern Lights

Aurora Summit 19 brings aurora chasers to Wisconsin for international conference

WASHBURN, WISC. – Aurora chasers from at least nine states and two countries will gather on Lake Superior’s shore in Washburn, Wisc., coming together for the Third Annual Aurora Summit from Friday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. The international conference celebrates the art, culture, science and photography of the Northern Lights.

Aurora Summit 19 will feature Keynote Speaker Chris Ratzlaff, citizen science leader and storm chaser who serves as an admin for the Alberta Aurora Chasers, an online group of more than 20,000 members. Receiving special recognition from NASA for his work helping to discover a new natural phenomenon, Ratzlaff was featured in the documentary film, “Chasing Steve,” and a documentary series called “The Nature of Things: The Wonder of the Northern Lights.”

Ratzlaff has helped bring the observations of the Alberta Aurora Chasers to the attention of the scientific community, and he has represented aurora chasers in some of the scientific research that followed the discovery of a rare sub auroral arc, which appears in the night sky as a narrow, purple band of light. Known as STEVE, the rare phenomenon is also called a Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement.

“Catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis in the low latitudes can be very challenging. This annual event gives us a chance to not only celebrate the night sky, but to also learn how to track and capture its rare beauty,” said Co-Founder Melissa F. Kaelin.

On top of the keynote speech, the Aurora Summit will also offer a panel discussion on the Northern Lights, hands-on night sky demonstrations, a travelogue, a light painting party, a travel companion meet-up, awards and prizes, and special features. The event offers many educational sessions, with more than 18 presentations slated on topics related to the Aurora Borealis, photography and the night sky.

“The Aurora Summit is the best place to meet ‘like -minded’ people and learn how to predict auroral activity,” said Co-Founder Dixie J. Burbank. “The photography sessions then enable you to capture the natural beauty of the night sky.”

Led by scientists, published authors and professional photographers, the presentations range from the history, culture and science of the night sky, to Aurora forecasting and photography. The topics include:

  • Aurora Forecasting for Beginners, with Bob King
  • Essentials for Aurora Photography, with Christy Turner
  • Shooting the Milky Way, with Mark Ellis
  • Discovering STEVE, with Chris Ratzlaff
  • Astrophotography with Equatorial Trackers, with Paul Nelson
  • Deep Freeze Photography: Tips for Subzero Shooting, with Amber Nichols
  • Know Your Sky, Know What to Shoot, with Bob King
  • Night Sky Composites and Blends: A How-to Guide, with Mike Shaw
  • Smartphone Astrophotography, with Christian Harris
  • Mysteries of Solar Wind Data Revealed, with Christian Harris
  • Intro to Time Lapse Capture & Editing, with Mark Ellis
  • Urban Legends of Space: Astro Science v. Pseudoscience, with Bob King
  • Secrets of the Goddess of the Dawn: Aurora Myth & Legend, with Melissa F. Kaelin
  • Deep Sky Photography, with Matthew E. Moses
  • The Light Painting Toolbox, with Roger D. Feldhans
  • NASA’s Spectra Lens and the Sub Auroral Arc, with Christy Turner
  • Post Processing Night Sky Photos, with Matthew Moses
  • Phenomenal Light Painting, with Jamie Rabold
  • Aurora Chasers Travelogue, with Dixie J. Burbank

Conference guests will also have the chance to participate in and view an Aurora Slideshow showcasing photos from the Great Lakes Region and around the world. After hours, guests will be invited to join a night photography shoot, light painting party and hands-on photography demonstrations with others from Aurora Summit 19.

In its inaugural year, the Aurora Summit attracted night sky enthusiasts from eight states and two countries, making it the leading conference on the Northern Lights in the U.S. In 2019, more than 100 people will gather for the conference. The states and regions represented at the third annual Aurora Summit will include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Hampshire and Alberta, Canada.

“Our passion for the night sky brings out an incredible crowd,” said Kaelin. “This group knows what it means to enjoy adventure, be persistent and stand in awe of natural phenomena.”

Designed for newcomers and experienced Aurora enthusiasts alike, the Aurora Summit combines the enjoyment of this rare natural phenomenon with photography, art, history, culture, urban legend and adventure. Guests will find a welcoming group of people at all experience levels, who are eager to tell their stories and share advice for future Aurora sightings. The event will come to a close with a grand finale, where guests may share photos, win awards and claim raffle prizes.

Hosted by Mike Shaw Photography, the Aurora Summit will be held at the Harbor View Event Center in Washburn, Wisc. Admission is $175 for the full conference, which includes all meals, or $69 for the Banquet Only, which includes the keynote speech and Saturday evening activities.

The event is open to the public, but guests must register to attend. Please register by Oct. 10, 2019.

For more information or to register, visit TheAuroraSummit.com.

Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Shaw/Mike Shaw Photography.


JUNE 26, 2019

Media Alert: International Aurora Summit Brings Star Gazers to Washburn Marina

WASHBURN, WISC. – The Washburn Marina will welcome sky watchers and star gazers from many U.S. states and several countries, during a three-day conference celebrating the Northern Lights. An international event, the 3rd Annual Aurora Summit will be held Friday, Nov. 1 – Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, at the Harbor View Event Center in Washburn, Wisc.

“Aurora Summit 19: Celebrating the Art, Culture, Science, and Photography of the Aurora Borealis!” brings scientists, authors, astrophotographers and space weather enthusiasts together with beginning sky watchers, to study the rare natural phenomenon of the Aurora. The conference will include a keynote speaker, travelogue, panel discussion, and educational sessions on the Northern Lights, photography and the night sky thrills.

During the day, conference guests will have the opportunity to attend educational sessions with topics ranging from the prediction and photography of the Aurora Borealis, to rare night sky sightings and the mythology of the Northern Lights. Hands-on demonstrations will also take place during the evening, including a Light Painting Party that will invite guests to work together to create unique images in the dark.

Aurora Summit 19 is open to the public, but guests must pre-register. Northern Lights admirers of any experience level are encouraged to attend.

Full conference and registration details will be announced by June 30. The Aurora Summit is organized by Dixie J. Burbank, Melissa F. Kaelin and Mike Shaw, Ph.D., and the conference is hosted by Mike Shaw Photography.

For more information, visit TheAuroraSummit.com.


AUGUST 7, 2018

Historians, Scientists, Photographers and Sky Watchers Converge at Aurora Summit to Celebrate the Northern Lights

Aurora Summit 18 brings national conference to Minnesota for second year

TWO HARBORS, MINN. – The Second Annual Aurora Summit returns to Minnesota, coming to Lake Superior’s shore from Friday, Nov. 2 to Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. The national conference, which is open to the public, celebrates the art, culture, science and photography of the Northern Lights.

Aurora Summit 18 will feature Keynote Speaker Mary Stewart Adams, a star lore historian who founded the Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City, Mich., and hosts “The Storyteller’s Night Sky” on Interlochen Public Radio.

Adams is a self-described star lore historian, who led the successful initiative to establish Michigan’s only International Dark Sky Park in 2011. For nine years, she also led the park to award-winning recognition for innovative programming and dark sky advocacy, including the top Pure Michigan “Pure Award” for stewardship of the state’s natural resources, and the first-ever International Dark Sky Place of the Year Award from the International Dark Sky Association, in 2017. Her radio show, “The Storyteller’s Night Sky,” airs each week on Interlochen Public Radio.

On top of the keynote speech, the Aurora Summit will present a talk by Bob Kelley, who recently retired from a 40-year career at the Scobee Education Center Planetarium. He worked as both as planetarium director and “Mission Flight Director” in the new Challenger Learning Center in San Antonia, Texas. Kelley has always had a passion for celestial photography, taking several trips to Alaska to image the Northern Lights or to the deserts of west Texas to enjoy the darkest skies on Earth and views of the Milky Way.

The Aurora Summit will also offer a panel discussion on the Northern Lights, a travel companion meet-up, a travelogue, awards and prizes, and special features. The event offers many educational sessions, with more than 12 presentations slated on topics related to the Aurora Borealis, photography and the night sky.

Led by published authors, scientists and professional photographers, the presentations range from the history, culture and science of the night sky, to Aurora forecasting and photography. The topics include:

  • Basics for Night Sky Photography, with Photographer Terry Mann
  • From Apps to Kp: Aurora Forecasting for Beginners, with Author Bob King
  • 10 Keys to Gain a Social Media Following, with Destination Duluth’s Jerry Thoreson
  • Essential Software and Apps for Aurora Chasers and Photographers, with Photographer Michael Jordan
  • Aurora Culture and Mythology, with Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium Program Director Jim Rock
  • The Juno Mission and Jupiter’s Aurora, with NASA Solar System Ambassador Dave Falkner
  • Aurora Borealis: A Photographer’s Guide, with Photographer Michael Jordan
  • Meet STEVE: The Aurora Getting All the Attention, with Author Bob King
  • Aurora from Satellites Above and Photographers Below, with Director of Education and Public Outreach at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies Margaret Mooney
  • Deep-Sky with Your D-SLR: Getting the Right Camera Gear, with Photographer Joe Polecheck
  • No Aurora Yet? Camera Techniques to Capture Elusive Light, with Photographer Terry Mann
  • Establishing an International Dark Sky Park, with Star Lore Historian Mary Stewart Adams

Conference guests will also have the chance to participate in and view an Aurora Slideshow showcasing photos from the Great Lakes Region. After hours, guests will be invited to join a night photography shoot with others from Aurora Summit 18.

In its inaugural year, the Aurora Summit attracted night sky enthusiasts from eight states and two countries, making it the leading conference on the Northern Lights in the U.S. The states and regions represented in 2017 included Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota and Georgia, as well as Manitoba, Canada.

Designed for newcomers and experienced Aurora enthusiasts alike, the Aurora Summit combines the enjoyment of this rare natural phenomenon with photography, art, history, culture and adventure. Guests will find a welcoming group of people at all experience levels, who are eager to tell their stories and share advice for future Aurora sightings. The event will come to a close with a grand finale, where guests may share photos, win awards and claim raffle prizes.

Hosted by Mike Shaw Photography, the Aurora Summit will be held at Superior Shores Resort & Conference Center in Two Harbors, Minnesota. Admission is $179 for the full conference, which includes three meals, or $69 for the Banquet Only, which includes the keynote speech.

The event is open to the public, but guests must register to attend. Please register by Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.

For more information or to register, visit TheAuroraSummit.com.

Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Shaw/Mike Shaw Photography.


Archive

DOWNLOAD: Media Alert Announcing Aurora Summit 19

DOWNLOAD: Aurora Summit 18 Press Release

DOWNLOAD: Media Alert Announcing Aurora Summit 18

DOWNLOAD: Aurora Summit 17 Press Release

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