Archive for the ‘Aurora’ Category

Milky Way at St Ninian’s tombolo and over Ireland, Shetland

4 October, 2016
I thought I’d missed the best chance to photograph the Milky Way on Sunday night, which had been exceptionally clear and wind free, whereas Monday evening had turned cloudy and there was a strong wind. But later on the sky cleared for about an hour so I thought I’d try my luck. So I headed out to St Ninian’s, which I thought would provide a nice environment for the photos. These are both composite images; one vertical, one horizontal. I was lucky with both images; for the first one I was surprised by a car that happened to drive down the track shining its light over the tombolo. Initially I was a little put out, with my darkness all gone just as I was about to take the first photo of the composition. But then I saw the beauty of the whole tombolo lit up just for a few moments, long enough for me to take the first image, creating an amazing illuminated foreground. The image with the aurora and Milky Way was quite lucky too – the aurora had been good in Shetland for the past few days but it wasn’t expected this night. However, as I was taking my photos looking south, I kept checking to the north and could see a faint glow developing; then the aurora brightened, just long enough to create the second image. http://bit.ly/1lzUb8j

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Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, the Moon and Mirrie Dancers too!

2 March, 2012

What an amazing night! After a few days of muggy, misty, cloudy and damp conditions, the forecast was for a clear night, the temperature perhaps getting down to freezing. I began looking forward to taking some photographs of some planets, perhaps some star trails and other possibilities. After much thought I decided to head out to Burra because I wanted some interest in the landscape and I knew just the place to get some domestic lights and streetlights as well as some nice areas of sea that I hoped the quarter moon would illuminate. But before I left home I was pleased to see Mercury above the hill at the back of us. Later, I also had a good view of Mars in the opposite direction, its distinctive red colour making it an easy sight.

Wow, I was not to be disappointed at my chosen spot in Burra! Not only did the moon help to illuminate the sea and the landscape but I could also see Foula on one set of photographs. That was the set that I hope will make a nice timelapse of Venus and Jupiter. But, more than all that, no sooner than I was there but I could sense the aurora and, as my eyes adapted I could see it too. So I set up my other camera facing over Lang Sound and was delighted to get some nice aurora shots and a cool green reflection in the Sound. As you can see it was mostly the auroral oval but there were also some beams and rays and a very brief period where the oval folded into a curtain. I also now see on some of the photos that there were some overhead forms too, though I didn’t notice at the time. As you can see, the lights were not very strong tonight and, of course, the camera sees much than the human eye but they still inspire me and I’m really glad I was in a great position to see them – I never tire of seeing the mirrie dancers.