Friday, 18 August 2017

New season, new course

Well the Aurora season kicked off on Thursday 7 August 2017 and people in the north mainland got lucky with the cloud cover, well for 20 mins anyway before the rain set in. Down in Sandwick it was all cloud but I am sure that we will have many more  Aurora evenings to come.

I am running a brand new Night Sky Photography course for Shetland Adult Education and there are a few places left, if you need any further info please send me a message

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Waiting and watching

It is not long now , we should be able to see the Aurora in just a few weeks as the nights start to draw in and i cannot wait.

To keep us going through the long daylight hours we have had a Talk by the British Geological survey dept at the museum the other Friday night. It started with a superb video of the Aurora in Iceland followed by a very informative talk lasting an hour.

They talked about the Geomagnetic data from the UK used in predicting the Aurora with Lerwick observatory being a vital part of collecting the information. It may look like a collection of garden huts but each one collects some vital information which is used to determine the Aurora KP level.

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Another magnetometer has been installed in Mossbank in the north mainland and should go live in the next few month

It was also interesting to see how much the magnetic pole has move since 1900, one thing that we have to think about when doing astrophotography.

For many years those in & outside Shetland have no doubt been watching cliff cam 3 to see the aurora, you may not be aware but this has been under threat. The Shetland Island council has withdrawn funding from Shetland Amenity Trust which runs the webcams around Shetland.

The webcams would have gone off line on the 30 June but the SIC have said they will allow funding for another 3 months which will allow other tenders to be submitted for the work to carry on, that's if they get an acceptable bid which hasn't happened yet.

So when the aurora season arrives make full use of the webcam service, it might not be here for much longer. A petition has been launched to save this service, please sign it whether you live in Shetland or not

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it important that 5000 signatures are submitted, over 3000 at present.

don't forget to join us on Facebook at Shetland Aurora Hunter - just send me a request to join