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NLC seen at last!

After missing out on the big display of NLC that amazed people across the UK on Tuesday night I couldn’t help wondering – and hoping – for a repeat performance last night, so at 10.30 I dragged myself away from Newsnight to look up at the sky, hoping to see a hint, a trace, a wisp of NLC…

… and saw this…

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Half the sky was covered with NLC! (note: please click on that image, and all the others in this post, to bring up the full size image) Well, I was pretty sure they were NLC; I did wonder for a few minutes if they were just high bright normal cloud, but then I saw the telltale cross-hatched patterning within the blue-white streamers and billows up above me and knew that they were the real deal. Success! Ran back across the road and inside to get Stella so she wouldn’t miss it, and then we headed over to Abbot Hall Park to get a really good look at what was going on…

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By this time it was 11pm, and while the sky to the west, east and south was darkening, the northern sky was still very bright, and the NLC appeared to be brightening further…

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By 11.15 there was some hint of activity further around to the NE too…

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… so I decided to grab my camera and binoculars to head up the hill to Kendal Castle, to enjoy a better view. Up there the view is almost 360 degree panoramic, just interrupted by the Castle itself, so even though it was very late at night by then I knew it would be worth it.

5 minutes later I was heading up the road towards¬†the ruins of Kendal Castle, and halfway there I paused for a moment on the bridge to capture¬†this view…

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Then it was a ten minute heave up the steep hill to the Castle itself. The ancient castle was a stark silhouette against the still fairlt bright sky, but for once I wasn’t interested in taking its picture. Because to the north the sky was doing this…

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I grabbed my binoculars and focussed them on the NLC, and was rewarded with beautiful views of the clouds’ delicate structure – ripples and whirls, kinked streamers, cross-hatched and herringbone patterns.. just beautiful… unfortunately my camera is not very sophisticated, or powerful, so I wasn’t able to photograph the clouds’ gorgeous structure, but the view just got better and better…

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I stayed there until 01.15, just drinking in the view, loving, relishing every moment of it. It wasn’t the best display I’ve ever seen, not by a longshot, but my surroundings made it special – looking out across Kendal, with its lights flickering and glaring, seeing the NLC glowing softly and serenely above the fells and valleys beyond the town… just beautiful…

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It was hard to drag myself away at 01.15, but as I had to be up for work at 6am I didn’t really have much choice. To be honest tho the display was definitely waning by then, past its best (I think? I haven’t read any reports of it flaring up again before dawn… yet! If it did I’ll be mad!) and a lot of filthy black cloud was rolling in from the north, obliterating the NLC still shining, so I packed up and headed home, pausing to take one last trio of shots to make into this “closing credits” panorama…

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When will the next display of NLC be? No idea, we can’t predict them in advance. They just… appear. All we can do is keep looking, on every clear night, just in case. We do know that this summer is expected to be a very good one for NLC-spotting because they appear more at “solar minimum”, and we’re in a deep, deep minimum now, so all we can do is keep an eye on the sky, and cross our fingers!

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One Response

  1. G.Edward Griffin mentions these strange clouds in his latest video..******* i highly recommend

    entitled…What on earth are they spraying,you can watch it on youtube i have posted the link below,i hope it works for you..cheers.

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