I had been watching all the spaceweather prediction sites for some time, knowing that Aurora season often starts in August and, sure enough, activity was forecast – but it arrived a day early and, unfortunately, during daytime in this part of the world. Nevertheless, I remained hopeful that it would still be active after darkness fell – and that the skies would clear of the heavy rain and thick cloud, as forecast. Well, the clouds cleared nicely but the aurora returned to low levels. So I waited and watched and in the hour before midnight things picked up a little.
Eventually I could see the aurora in town with my own eyes so I decided to go out of town for a better view. It wasn’t a very strong display but the colours were very nice and I managed to get some nice photos with the pre-dawn glow and the developing blue in the sky too. Here’s a panorama I created just before dawn, as I was packing up at Wadbister.
I had plenty of company during my time here – I could hear several seals breathing as they swam past and even saw and heard an otter clearly eating something only about 30 metres away in the sea; it looked like it was on its back, but it was too dim to be sure. The Milky Way was amazingly clear as well and there were a few meteors about too, all in all, an amazing night to be out watching the sky!