Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sunsets but no aurora

After moving into our new house in Sandwick, we have been watching some great sunsets. Now that the evenings are drawing in i am getting prepared for some night photography and hopefully an aurora or two.

The moon, now full has been giving great views, even from our living room. It looks so sharp here where the quality of light and air is a photographers dream. You can plan for everything except the weather, which is the main thing.

Getting your equipment ready just in case the cloud clears is all part of the thrill of night/ sky photography. The last night sessions took place in Sheffield, up on the moors where unbelievably I actually saw the aurora.

On Tuesday, this week, I received an alert that the aurora may be visible from Shetland so we headed out to a darker place down near the sea at Sandsayre, just round the corner from our house. The expected level of activity was supposed to peak around 9.45 - 10 pm but nothing could be seen due to cloud. This was around 4.5 KP.

On the 12th  the activity  increased to around  6.5 KP at 3 am (Shetland is around 4.5 KP) The higher the KP number the further south you can see the Aurora (weather permitting). We went out at 10 pm but it was cloudy (57%) all falling in a northerly direction. No doubt I will be kicking myself when i see some of the photos of people staying out until the early hours.

So back to planning, certain things need to fall in place, no moon (light pollution), no cloud, no wind, time & no commitments .All a big ask, but at least i have time to seek out some dark sites, should be many more than Sheffield. The wind is always a problem so a sheltered site is also needed.

I also need to DEW heater so a little research is needed.