An Aurora to remember, 6th March 2016

This afternoon I became very aware that the data looked really promising for some major aurora action this evening! The weather forecast also looked good, suggesting that we might get some snow showers early in the evening followed by clear skies and plunging temperatures, there was also no moon to spoil the show either. I continued to watch the data with increasing anticipation and as darkness fell I started to see images coming in from Scotland and parts of Northern England – time to get out there and see this thing for myself!

So at about 8.30pm I headed out to pick up Stuart, and even from my house I could see a glow between the clouds – this one could be good! After joining up with Les the three of us headed down through Gilsland. The aurora show was well under way and as we drove down through the village we could see tall pillars of light brightly lighting up the sky. We soon arrived at our first location and quickly jumped out of the car to grab our cameras and tripods. Once the car headlights were off and our eyes adjusted to the darkness it was obvious that this was a very strong aurora, there was even green directly overhead. These were my first couple of test shots…

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Over the next couple of hours we witnessed a truly unforgettable show, even the reds in the aurora were visible to the naked eye and at times the greens and spikes of light were incredibly bright… 

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After a couple of hours it seemed to being dying off a bit so we travelled just a few miles further along the road…

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It was now gone midnight and with the aurora activity predicted to flare up again soon we decided to move to our final location – Walltown Crags on the Hadrian’s Wall…

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Cue the ‘X Files’ music…


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The brightness was intensifying once again and throwing up columns of light high into the sky, what a fantastic aurora this was, it just kept on going and going and very quickly reds became visible again to the naked eye…

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With it now 1.30am and icy cold we decided to call it a night and walk back to our cars, besides our lenses were starting to fog up and our camera batteries were almost flat – but it had been a truly awesome night that will live long in the memory – Mother Nature at her best on Mother’s Day…

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