Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Unexpected Aurora

Well just goes to show that even though the Aurora Forecast was for a KP2 it turned out to be a great night.

I had planned to go out anyway down to Scatness and arrived just before dark. The stars just appeared  as i started to get set up. I would have preferred some moonlight to light up some rocks but it was totally dark as the cloud started to disappear, just as forecast for once. The Moon set just before dark but would have only been at 6%

I wanted to photograph a couple of stone circle type constructions, although not true stone circles as they appear to lack height. It was more difficult than expected finding these in the dark but I eventually managed it.

I had been facing south up to that point but turned to photograph the circles and I could see the glow of the Aurora expanding, even visible to the naked eye over the light pollution of Sumburgh airport.

I incorporated the aurora in the photos although the glow from the airport was very bright.

Moving back down the hill towards the loch I stopped at the edge to get a few photos as the reflections looked good with the aircraft warning light glowing red on Fitful head.

I stopped at Old Scatness where a wooden visitor centre blocked out some light pollution from Sumburgh Airport. By this time the aurora had grown in brightness and was in full flow with lots of colour visible to the naked eye, lots of pillars reaching high.

Returning home it became clear that it was still active at 10.30 and with clear skies someone might have a good photo opportunity. Check Shetland Aurora Hunter several people had already displayed photos.

Looking at the stats especially the slackpot it looks like I caught the best of the display between 9- 10.30 pm

Please join Shetland Aurora Hunter on facebook


  1. Visiting your blog from Sydney, Australia and appreciating your beautiful photos. Thank you for publishing them. I know exactly where the header photo was taken, I think, buthave only seen it in the day time. Your shots are brilliant!

  2. Many thanks, some good Aurora activity recently in Shetland. Have you joined Shetland Aurora Hunter on facebook, more photos and information