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NLC? Definitely!

There was a very nice display of NLC visible from Kendal early this morning, which was well worth staying up for. I might suffer for it later, by teatime I might have bags under my eyes big enough to carry footballs in, but hey, that’s the charge the universe makes sometimes for seeing things like this, so fair enough… 🙂

I headed up to the castle at 11pm again last night – far too early, as it turned out – and my initial elation at finding myself under a beautifully clear sky was dampened somewhat when I found I’d forgotten to put my digital radio in my rucksack, meaning that instead of watching out for NLC to a guaranteed-to-keep-me-awake soundtrack of Talk Talk, Human League and Thompson Twins, courtesy of “Absolute 80s”, I’d be on my own, in the dark, with nothing to listen to, until I headed back home… 😦 But at least I hadn’t forgotten my camera or binocs, and within a few minutes of arriving at the castle I was all set up and ready for an NLC storm!!!

Hmmm. Not quite.

It was still very light at 11pm – I definitely went up there too early – but as what passes for darkness in June gradually fell, Venus was visible low in the west, dropping down towards Kendal’s streetlights… (please click on images for larger versions)

By 00.30 there was still no sign of any NLC, and I was beginning to wonder if the night was going to be a bust. By this time some big, dirty banks of cloud had appeared too, wafting in from the north without any real warning, and my dirtiest dirty looks and most annoyed “grrr!”ing totally failed to move them until around 01.00, when the clouds fled, leaving behind a clear sky again, and this

Yep, an NLC display was definitely brewing! 🙂 So I just stood up there on Kendal Castle hill and watched the show… Here are some of the pics I took, and it’s worth noting that the display wasn’t actually that impressive to the naked eye – I’ve seen a lot better – but the camera’s long exposure pictures picked up a lot of subtle detail…

A nice bonus was seeing Jupiter rising at around 02.00…

I eventually headed back down the hill at around 02.45, when the display seemed to be fading away. Crawled into bed around 03.00, a bit shattered but very happy to have seen my first decent display of the year. Much better to come over the next few weeks, I’m sure – maybe tonight..?

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