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Power lines in UV


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#1 nfoto

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 00:37

Just a test to learn whether one can detect UV sparks on an electricity line. This is tonight's shot from an 800 kV transmission line supplying power to the city of Oslo. The weather conditions were abysmal: interchangeable sleet, fog, and drizzle, pitch dark so near impossible to focus anything even with all filtration removed, and to top it all, these pylons are so big you record at a distance of 100 m or more.

Still, UV sparks are detectable. D600 with Coastal 60 APO lens, f/4 for 160 secs, ISO 6400. Focus more or less a wild guess as I literally was in a jet black ambience.

Attached Image: UVP_High_voltage_Power_line_T1404075942.jpg

#2 colinbm

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 01:43

Very interesting Bjorn
Those insulators are reflecting light from something..................from your camera?
The ends of the terminals of the wire carriers are showing a light source.
Good work & I am sure more will be revealed from those sparkies out there ;)
Cheers
Col

#3 nfoto

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 07:54

Most of the UV-visible spots are on the insulators, while some are on the cables themselves. I shot many frames and the cable spots are not in the same position. Many appear to be flares or jet-like like you see of eruptions on the Sun.

It is hard for me to imagine what could have caused the lights unless they are some way related to UV flares. I was in complete darkness, remember. The power lines hummed and crackled a lot in the wet weather. Pretty unpleasant to be this close to the pylons. However, it *is* possible the lights are reflections from some light source not seen from my vantage point. The pylons were on a hill slope and the city of Oslo is on the other side of that hill.

I provided this as an example of what I observed. That in it self won't prove anything unless I can validate with a different power line/transformator source of course. I was just indulging my own curiosity.

#4 colinbm

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:13

Good on you Bjorn for doing this.
I have been pretty deaf from birth so I haven't experienced any thing like noise near high voltage power lines, except hums from transformers which I mostly feel on my body.
The insulators are perhaps made of glass or a glazed porcelain OR just wet, so they maybe reflecting some light source or some stray arcing ?
But to get some UV light, arcing or aura from the power lines is fantastic.
Cheers
Col

#5 nfoto

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:43

Here is a crop from another frame, shot at much faster exposure (and Hi2 ISO setting, should be 25600 equivalent. Thus heaps of noise).

The lights here are from the cable itself. They are not specular reflections that is for sure, and they do have the appearance of flares.

Attached Image: UVP_High_voltage_line_crop_DSC_5935_v1.jpg

Perhaps most of the emission is in the audio range - the intensity of the humming and crackling underneath that huge power line was unnerving.

#6 JCDowdy

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 14:50

Bjørn, do I understand correctly that no filter(s) were used?

#7 nfoto

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 14:54

Nope. Using the Baader U2" (Venus) filter all the time for these captures.

#8 Shane

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 15:55

Power line coronal discharge occurs from the UV through the IR and are therefore most easily observed and photographed in darkness. The real challenge is shooting them in daytime because of eliminating the dominant range of wavelengths from the sun. For that they use sub 290nm range. That would be an interesting challenge for a UV converted DSLR. ;)