Saturday, 11 November 2017

Early KP8

The weather forecast for Tuesday had not been good before 9pm so when photos started to appear on Shetland Aurora Hunter at 6pm we decided to head straight out.

We had planned to go to a different location but as time was ticking by we went across to Bigton and onto St Ninian's isle about 10 mins away.

You could already see the Aurora in the sky and it was covering more of the sky than usual. Setting up quickly the green  in the sky was spreading.

Activity started to begin with a curtain stretching across from St Ninian's isle to the east side of the  mainland.

Strong coloured pillars started to appear, along with brighter green in the curtain a sign of an active Aurora. You could easily see the green and the pillars with the naked eye, but the camera sensor always picks up more colour.

I rushed down to the beach from the top carpark just as green blobs started to appear, it was becoming one of the best Aurora's for a while.

No one else appeared so it seemed that most folk would be missing this peak activity. You have to react quickly, so within 1/2 hour since leaving home it was at its peak. This lasted about 10 more mins before activity reduced just as someone else arrived.

The height of the green was also reducing although still high compared to most nights. It was one of those nights that will stick in my memory for along time. Folk in other parts of Shetland were not that lucky with the weather as heavy cloud affected the west and north.

After about 1.5 hours the cloud started to roll in and activity reducing all the time. Back home stats confirmed a big one , a KP8 which ended up being visible down in the south of England. It peaked again after midnight but by then I was just dreaming all about the experience.

With nearly 1500 members it time to come and join Shetland Aurora Hunter on facebook, on the 16 November we will have been going just one year so thanks to everyone who has joined. Lots of good phones, camera settings and information available

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Beach Aurora

Tuesday this week had a reasonable Aurora Forecast, the weather forecast on the other hand was mixed.

I headed down to Bigton where the sky was reasonably free from cloud compared to the east side.

I was looking for a different angle so headed down to the beach. The Moon had just set so it was dark and the milky way showing well.

The Aurora was visible to the naked eye, a wide green band stretching across the sea from Ireland

The other good thing was that it was still which was a pleasant surprise after recent gales. The tide was well up and provided a nice foreground.

The Aurora was only visible for about 1/2 hour before the cloud rushed in from the South west and totally swallowed the green band

I was surprised to find that no one else was about, its usually a popular spot for Aurora's. I am still looking for other sites away from light pollution but looking north. It needs to be fairly close as sometime you get little notice that the Aurora is developing

As it was dark I was using  ISO 6400 at F/2 around 6-8 seconds, its a great setting on the Sony A7s  showing only a little noise. Even Nikon and Canon cameras would show a lot of noise at this ISO

Shetland Aurora Hunter on facebook is the place for up to-date information, just send a request to join

# northern lights, # mirrie dancers , # Shetland Aurora Hunter

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Sandwick Aurora

A clear night in between cloudy windy nights so I took a short trip over the hill to Sandsayre in Sandwick to see the Aurora 

The sky was mostly clear until a bank of cloud moved in , the moon also came out at 9.40pm

Light pollution from Cunningsburgh is always a problem from this site although its now a mix of LED and sodium lighting.

                        I wasn't the only one down at the beach as an otter appeared for a few mins .

I thought the moon at one side and Cunningsburgh lights with the Aurora in the middle provided a nice balance, although it would have been better without any artificial lighting

Sandlodge was nicely lit up by some car headlights, a better position here than full on as the lights from the house proved too much for the camera to handle

Shetland Aurora Hunter is doing well on facebook if you need up to-date information on the Aurora in Shetland

~#Shetland Aurora Hunter, # Aurora #Shetland,  # Sandlodge , # Sandwick,  # Cunningsburgh,   # Northern Lights