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NLC frustration…

Oh, what a night last night was!!! SO frustrating!!! I went out at 11.30, and could see a hint of brightness to the north, through a large gap in the cloud, so headed up to the castle. Of course, by the time I got there that ‘large gap’ had already started to close-up, like one of Dr Who’s cracks in time, but as the gap closed I saw, through binoculars, some tantalising NLC structure. Something was very definitely going on behind the cloud, but it was hidden from my view…

Eventually, at around 12.45, there was just nothing to see up there, almost total cloud cover, so I headed back down the hill. But as I reached my flat some breaks in the cloud appeared overhead, so I decided to wait up another hour or so and see if anything developed. Looking outside again at 01.30 I saw stars, quite a few stars, so grabbed my gear and headed out to the park across the road. Looking east I saw no NLC, but there was a gap there, which appeared to be growing in size, so I took the decsiion to just go for it and go back up to the castle…

Of course, by the time I got there that ******** gap had ******** closed-up again, leaving just a few tears in it through which I could see hints of NLC. There was definitely a display going on, but by 02.00 the sky had clouded over again, cloud thick enough to blot out the Moon, so spitting a few well-chosen Anglo-Saxon expletives at the heavens I headed back down the hill, and called it a night.

I got up this mornning to find that the sky had cleared around 3am, revealing a lovely display of NLC in the pre-dawn sky while I slept. Worse still, my ill-fated observing attempts earlier in the night had left me so tired that I slept right through a text alert by Phil Stobbart*, telling me a display was going on (thanks anyway, Phil!)…

You know, sometimes, just sometimes, I hate this hobby.

But that only lasts until I see the next amazing, beautiful, stunning sight “up there”… 🙂

* To see Phil’s pics of this morning’s display, go here:



One Response

  1. I had exactly the same problem, Today was my day off, so Last night charged all my batteries grabbed my scope and headed off to Birkrigg common,
    When I arrived I had a Large open sky to the south, East and North, cloudy in the West, but no real problem I thought. Decided to start setting up the equipment about 22:30 and got ready to take some photographs and for my imaging session.
    Then the wind picked up, the sheep up on Birkrigg all started laying down, and I thought “Oh Dear” not a good sign?
    By 23:00 all the sky in the West/North had filled with very dark stormy clouds, and were moving fast, had to make a decision to pack up, dismantled the scope and packed away the Camera’s, by this time it was very windy, very dark and stormy.
    My Frustration level was through the roof, knowing I wont be able to go again until Thrursday night at the earliest, but hopefully I will have some clear skies over my Long Weekend off work. Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon and looking forward to trying again.

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