Aurora borealis video-captured at South Branch Preserve

Ever had an otherwise perfect photograph or video ruined by a photobomb? In the case of a recent time-lapse video shot over four days at the South Branch Preserve in Mt. Olive Township, the photobomb turned out to be an amazing event: an aurora borealis that danced across the sky for several hours.

Sandy Urgo, Vice President of Land Preservation for the Land Conservancy, set up our new time lapse camera at the South Branch Preserve’s marsh on the afternoon of September 10 to test its ability to pick up resident wildlife, such as bears and bobcats. The three minute video covers September 10 – 14, and although the only wildlife the footage showed were fireflies, about two and a half minutes in, the dark sky in the direction of Hackettstown is illuminated by the orange glow. In actual time, the aurora borealis appeared around 9:25 p.m. on September 13 and lasted until dawn the next day.

At first Sandy thought the footage was a major fire, but there appeared to be something unusual about it, as it lasted several hours. So she conducted research and came across an alert by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the aurora borealis would be visible the night of September 13.  Also known as northern lights, the phenomenon was confirmed by officials at the Sheep Hill Observatory in Boonton. Click below to watch the video 

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