Over the past couple of days the Sun has been going a bit nuts, firing off solar flares and sending quite large amounts of solar…stuff.. towards Earth. So, last night hopes were high that we might, possibly, perhaps, maybe see some auroral activity from the UK, if conditions were right.
Unfortunately the weather didn’t look like co-operating. The Eddington AS MoonWatch, held in Kendal’s Abbot Hall Park in the evening, was spoiled by cloud, we barely had more than five minutes of seeing the Moon in the two hours we were there. But as the night went on the sky did seem to clear so, ever the optimist, I kep my beady eye on several websites that report on auroral activity and help provide something of an early warning of a display being visible from our part of the world.
Around 11pm there was a noticeable kick of auroral activity, as shown on this graph…
So I headed up to Kendal Castle, camera at the ready. I’d only been there about ten minutes when I saw a beam of pale red cutting up into the sky, spearing Cassiopeia, and I knew that an aurora was on! Back down the hill, quickly, and into the car and out deeper into the countryside, away from the streetlights, in the hope of seeing a good show!
Unfortunately a big aurora didn’t materialise. The activity visible from Kendal was restricted to a broad area of pale green stretched out across the northern horizon, and a hint of a suggestion of a beam or a ray every now and again. I took quite a few photos, and on those the green shows very clearly…
So, nothing to make Joanna Lumley burst into tears, but it was enough to see something, anything, a) after so long and b) when a lot of the UK was covered in cloud, meaning most people missed it altogether.
Fingers crossed that there’s another aurora visible from the UK soon!
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