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.

In the News

Press Releases

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

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

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


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

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close