Monday, 19 April 2021

Good Aurora in Shetland

It was good to get out on Saturday night as a strong Aurora showed over Shetland

It started to pick up around 22.30hrs and i went local down to Sandsayre
As it doesn't really start to get dark until just after midnight, and with the moon at 20% it was good to see a strong Aurora to beat the twilight and moonshine



Glendale hadn't registered any alerts and as we have seen many times in Shetland you sometimes just have to get out and look, especially as it was a clear sky for once


It was a bit windy but no too bad to take photos


The activity really picked up about 11.05pm, with the Aurora visible to eye and you could also see the rays . Nothing still on Glendale




The main activity lasted about 15 mins before fading back to a green arc









 Most of the activity has taken place in the morning, especially about 9am on a few occasions and up to Purple alert.

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Thursday, 1 April 2021

Aurora incoming - but where

This week has been very disappointing firstly because of the amount of cloud and rain that has blocked out the Aurora


I managed to get out on Sunday with the weather forecast indicating part clear skies, i only got a glimmer of the Aurora in a slim band over Bigton.



The other problem has been that the large surges have occurred during the day, even a purple alert but no good for watchers as its too light.




Nights are drawing out and its getting later when its dark but March has always been a good month to see the Mirrie dancers but the moon is also getting bigger so creating more light pollution






So the ideal night would be

> very active Aurora

> clear skies

> no wind

> new Moon

> reasonable time of night

> time to go out an experience the aurora


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Monday, 15 March 2021

`Steve' makes another visit

`Steve' made another visit to Shetland and like last week it only showed in the south mainland. This is the third time its showed in the last five weeks

We had a lot of cloud and heavy rain but it just cleared for a few photos from outside the house in Sandwick


We have a lot of light pollution on the road but Steve was bright enough to beat it




Just after taking these heavy rain arrived again.

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Sunday, 14 March 2021

Aurora beats the cloud

Cloud is always a problem with the Aurora, some nights its complete cloud cover and that's when a superb Aurora will be happening overhead.


Other times its part cover, as this night was and you get some tantalising views of the Aurora as it shows occasionally

It was at least dark until after total cloud came in so i used a bit of light painting to highlight the foreground

These were taken down at Maywick on the westside


You have to make sure where you are walking so a good torch is very important to get you to the spot where you can start to photograph

Another thing to watch out for is the tide coming in as sometimes it comes round the back of you and when its dark can be a hazard



Its always good to get some green reflecting on the sea




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Monday, 8 March 2021

St Ninian Red Alert

 We have had a good run of consecutive Aurora nights but not for Shetland as a whole. The north especially Yell and Unst had a few good nights then it was the turn of the south mainland.  


Aurora alerts are good, they give you time to get out fast to see and photograph the Aurora. I always have a packed camera bag ready and make sure the batteries are fully charged. 


On this night i came across one shetland Aurora Hunter who packed up after 5 mins after his camera died.



Anyway arriving down at St Ninian's it was very dark, the moon wasn't due to rise for a couple of hours. I prefer to have a 1/2 moon to light up the landscape and keep the ISO down so producing  a good quality photo


Another blessing was no wind, very unusual for Shetland so little chance of vibration.


I was out at Amber alert and managed to catch the Red Alert Aurora which lasted about 2 mins, no chance of getting to a site if leaving it too late.


It was a pity about the cloud but you could see the purple colour above the powerful green arc, it even stretched across St Ninian's tombolo which is to the west proving it was indeed a powerful aurora.

News came out the Steve was showing but i could only just see it through the cloud which moved in, back home in Sandwick several photographers manage to capture some good photos. 



It was only a month since the last sighting


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