Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Today there was a massive geomagnetic storm that hit the earth, causing a solar storm across much of the northern hemisphere. In turn, this meant that the aurora borealis, was suddenly much more likely to become visible even as far south as London.

I live on the northern edge of London, so headed off with my DSLR camera, a tripod, a remote trigger and not enough clothes (just a t-shirt) on my bike to see if I could catch a glimpse of the northern lights.

Could I?

My first stop was only an hour or so after the official time that the sun set. But even then, in the darker parts of the sky, when I left my camera exposing shots for five or more seconds, I was seeing hints of green and in other places red. I stayed in that spot for about 45 minutes before deciding to move.

By now, the sun had long set, and suddenly the sky was becoming somewhat colourful. To be clear, the lights of the city of London pollute the sky enormously here. Even though I’d found a footpath along a nearby field to view from, ordinarily astronomical views are limited in these parts. But today was something else.

The sky lit up with colours. Streaks of reds, purples and greens were everywhere.

I actually gasped out loud during the zenith of the display. It was extraordinary.

Around ten years ago, I spent a week in Iceland and caught just the faintest glimpse of the northern lights while I was there. But this was something else.





2 responses to “Aurora Borealis”

  1. […] LINKS / Solar storm knocks out farmers’ tractor GPS systems / Adam Bowie’s photos of the Aurora Borealis […]

  2. Kevin Spencer avatar

    Absolutely fantastic photos Adam. Bummed I missed the whole thing. We went away for the weekend a bit further north from Phoenix. A place that would have been away from the light pollution and perfect to see this. But in a moment of I guess we’re old now, we went back to the hotel and fell asleep. Bah.