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Photos: What a weekend to be up on the mountains!

Photo: Sigma Sreedharan Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one photo might be one of those types that spawned the phrase.

The holiday weekend afforded a great opportunity for members of our KOMO Legion of Zoom to head to the mountains and get some amazing photographs!

Sigma Sreedharan and Brie Hawkins spent a night up at Mt. St. Helens trying out some astrophotography and while they did succeed on that level, they also managed to capture a bit of meteorology, physics, and good old fashioned atmospheric science.

In the photo above, aside from the obvious mountain (or what's left of it) you can find:

A nice layer of fog

Ever wonder how fog is formed? Check out this entry in our Weather FAQ.

The Milky Way Galaxy

Yes, believe it or not, you can see the center of our galaxy on a clear night. It's a bit difficult with the naked eye, but a camera on long exposure can find it. Here are some tips if you ever want to try to catch a glimpse yourself:

Glow from the city lights of Portland

Yep, both Seattle and Portland's metro lights can be seen when photographing in the Cascades -- Portland's at St. Helens; Seattle's at Mt. Rainier. Learn about Don Jensen's project to raise awareness about the glow of city lights and light pollution.

And my favorite: Airglow

The green/teal colored light that subtly weaves inside that photograph is not the Northern Lights. It's called "air glow" -- Unlike aurora, airglow covers the entire planet and is there all the time, caused by reactions between solar energy and certain air molecules. It's just not visible in daytime due to sunlight and is hard to spot at night from other light pollution.

The photo was a tribute to persistence. Sigma says it was foggy much of the night, but the clouds broke juuuust long enough to get the amazing shots above. Here's a time lapse video of what the night was like:

Sigma and friend Brie, who was also there shooting photos, decided to take a quick snooze in the car and head back out for the sunrise and that didn't disappoint either. (Check out the photo gallery to see some other photos from their trip)

And it turns out, St. Helens wasn't the only mountain putting on a show this month. Sigma spent the next night over at Mt. Rainier and wasn't disappointed:

Probably filming not too far away from where Ian McRae was Friday night:

Even Mt. Baker was full of photographers. LOZ member Holly Davison had her camera rolling in time lapse to get the sunset there:

Long range forecasts aren't too favorable for mountain trips any time soon, so if you need your fix -- be sure to bookmark the blog!

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