Friday, 8 April 2016

Storm approaching

aurora prediction map

                    Apr 02          Apr 03     Apr 04
00-03UT        2                   4                  3
03-06UT        1                   5 (G1)         3
06-09UT        0                   4                  3
09-12UT        1                   3                  2
12-15UT        3                   3                  1
15-18UT       5 (G1)           2                  1
18-21UT       5 (G1)           2                  1
21-00UT       6 (G2)           3                  1 

Saturday 2 April 2016, above at 6.45 pm.  Looking out  it was still sunny but more cloud coming in .

                                                                                                     It's starting

I set off at 8.15 pm and caught the last part of the sunset at Bigton. The cloud was coming in from the south and east but I was hopeful that the aurora would appear before total cover. A few stars started to appear about 9.00 pm then a brief pillar of green light 10 mins later.

By 9.30 pm it was just about dark enough, that's the only draw back being in Shetland, its getting lighter every night. The aurora soon appeared, a growing green band that started to become brighter with dancing curtains. The band began to get wider and soon purple appeared, occasionally large wide shooting bands of  colour. Then a large amount of red / orange to the east of the green band.

At one point the coast guard helicopter came past heading north to check out a strange light from Easter Quarff, not the aurora.

All along the cloud kept creeping in from the south and east. At least no moon was visible and it was still but very cold. Around 10.15 it started to fade, but back over on the east side of Shetland it was total cloud cover.

It was one of the most colourful aurora's I have seen, and at KP 6 nearly one of the biggest. Glad I made it out as the Sunday night was very wet & misty , although just visible from Sumburgh.

This time Shetland was lucky with the cloud cover, Scotland had to endure total cloud on the night. I thought it may be one of the last Aurora until it starts going dark in September, another good month for Aurora hunting. Personally I cannot get enough of them, everyone is unique, and since moving to Shetland 2 years ago we have seen around 24 aurora's , with one in Sheffield back in February 2014.

On the 7 April another big aurora occurred at KP6, but this time due to cloud cover in Sandwick, it  didn't reveal its self until we were just about to go to bed, so we decided to look out through the window. This looked great, with a large green curtain rippling across the sky easily visible to the naked eye

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