Saturday 1 March 2014

An auroral feast.

I know this isn't birding but it is nature related and worthy of inclusion in my blog.

It turned out that the auroral treat I mentioned on Sunday was just a warm up for bigger and better things that took place on Thursday (27 Feb) evening. With the sun still being a bit active I had been keeping my eye on various sources of data to see if we might get another chance to see some auroral activity.

Around 7:30pm there were signs that things were starting to stir so I took a look out of the living room window to see if I could see any signs in the sky itself and I could certainly some activity, so I decided to grab the camera and go outside to take a better look.


The sight that greeted me was fantastic, the sky was alive with reds and greens as the aurora danced about. I quickly popped back into the cottage to tell Claire to get her coat on and join me outside. Moving to the North end of the cottage out of the stiff cold wind we stood and watched the best aurora we had ever seen. It started off in pretty much the same area of sky as Sunday's but quickly spread further out across the sky, then it started moving forward until it was right over the top of us. Eventually we were actually stood facing South and still seeing the aurora.

Later in the evening, around 10pm the colours and strength of the aurora started to subside but now it was replaced by quick flashes of what looked like green wispy Cirrus cloud darting back and forth across the sky.

By 11pm I was getting cold and tired so called it a night. Social media was buzzing with reports of the aurora from all over Scotland and the following morning it was being reported on the BBC news as being seen as far South as Essex and South Wales. By tea time there were reports that it had ben seen as far South as Jersey!! So a pretty spectacular event. Interestingly one of the astronomers that's had commented on the event said that this aurora was only due to a glancing blow by the particles from the sun hitting the earth's atmosphere. I'd love to see what the aurora looks like if we take a direct hit.

Anyway until that happens here are some of the photos that I took during the event.

The Plough stood on end in the middle of the aurora

Looking North towards St Mary's village

Looking North towards St Mary's village
Looking South-West. Orion on the left hand edge of the photo
Looking South over the cottage
Looking North towards St Mary's Village

Looking North East

Looking West

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