During large geomagnetic storms the northern lights (aurora borealis) can sometimes also be seen far away from the arctic regions.
On the night of 6/7 April 2000 a large cloud of electrically charged solar wind particles hit the Earth by surprise and a strong northern lights show was seen all night from Europe, the United States and Canada.
Northern lights from these latitudes look different than in the polar regions: more red and yellow colors, slower movements and mainly rays and beams of light instead of moving curtains.
The footage was shot on the beach of the island of Terschelling in the north of the Netherlands.
For 500 kilometers to the north of that island there is only sea water, so the northern night sky is very dark.
This makes it a perfect place to see the northern lights.
The little house on the beach that appears in the film is an old rescue shelter for shipwrecked sailors. In the shelter there were blankets, food and fresh water.
This rare footage was shot with a modified Nikon F3 camera on ten meter long rolls of 35 mm cinema film with a 24x36 mm frame size ("Vista Vision" format) .
After development the frames were scanned one by one in a film negative scanner, yielding a resolution of about 6K.
Registering the thousands of images and removing dust and scratches through rotoscoping by hand took more than ten years to complete ...
"Short stories of the Sky" is the english version of "Lowlands Hemelboek", a series of shorts films on sky phenomena made for LTV, the broadcaster on the 2011 Dutch Lowlands Music Festival.
"Shipwreck" is first shown on Vimeo.
Image and music © JKL / Pixel Idiots 2011
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