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Annual Aurora Summit to Celebrate the Northern Lights

Event date: 11/1/2019 9:00 AM - 11/3/2019 4:30 PM Export event

Event Location: Washburn Inn

Annual Aurora Summit to Celebrate the Northern Lights

Scientists, Authors, Photographers and Storm Chasers Converge

WASHBURN, , WISCONSIN,   October 4, 2019   (LSN)   -- 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 to 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, professional photographers and more, 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

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


Event CityWashburn
Event AddressHarbor View Event Center

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The Lake Superior Circle Tour in northern Wisconsin (highway 13), loops around Lake Superior state highways in the US states of Michigan, Minnesota (highway 61) and Wisconsin and provincial highways in the Canadian province of Ontario (highway 17). These highways are usually the closest to the lake.

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The Great Lakes — Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie — make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth, accounting for one-fifth of the freshwater surface on the planet at 6 quadrillion gallons. The area of all the Great Lakes is 95,160 square miles (246,463 square kilometers) and span 750 miles (1,200 km) from west to east.



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