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  • Writer's pictureKGB

Aurora Borealis. The First Time..

Updated: May 12

Hello, out there. No new image this week because it may well have been sunny for the last couple of days, but that has not stopped the clouds doing their usual business. However, last night (10th May 2024 & early this morning 11th May 2024, it was fairly clear, so I did get some imaging time in, but nothing that could be processed that quick. Incredibly, though, what a night it turned out to be! Early on in the evening my wife mentioned to me that there was a report on the internet that said there was a chance we could see the Northern Lights in our area (Talke). Upon hearing that I remarked my usual response about seeing any astronomical phenomena in our area and that is "yes, all the rest of the country will see it, but all we will see is clouds, rain, snow, sleet or fog, delete as necessary". As it got darker though, I could tell it was going to be clear, but even so, would we see the elusive Aurora?

Around 10.30 pm, I started an imaging run and then went indoors to monitor it on my PC. Three quarters of an hour later, I noticed that the guidescope was having a slight problem fixing on a guide star, but then it fixed again and then stopped on and off. Here we go again, clouds. After 15 minutes of this, I decided to go outside and have a look. Sure enough, clouds. Or is it? I suddenly noticed a red tint in places in the sky, then a green one and a purple colour as well. I then noticed that it was more like rays of different colours shimmering. Could this be the Aurora after all? No doubt about it, the Valkyrie's are paying us a visit, and what a visit. The whole show just got better and better as time moved on. Just incredible!!

As it got better, I noticed that the shimmering rays appeared to emanate from the zenith (directly above) and then spread out like rays of sunshine in nearly every direction of the sky. Just an awesome event to witness. I have to admit that the sight of this made me go cold for some reason. Obviously, the event itself and the thought that I have been lucky enough to see this spectacle just once in my life. Well, it blew me away..

So, some of you may be asking, well, what caused this spectacle? The simple answer is this: It is caused by charged particles from the Sun hitting gases and exciting them in the Earth's atmosphere. The colours occur due to different gases in the Earth's atmosphere being energised by the charged particles. These are generally known as Geo-Magnetic storms. However, in the last week, 5 coronal mass ejections (CME's) have left the Sun causing this event to be more spectacular than usual. Indeed, reports are now coming in from nearly all parts of the world, rather than being isolated to very Northern areas. Incidentally, coronal mass ejections are quite normal and are part of our sun's behaviour. Direct hits on our Earth by CMEs can and do occur, and each event packs more than enough power to disrupt some modern electronics. Even so, such disruptions are usually subtle and have little to no impact on most peoples' daily lives. So, a quick note to the press and other assorted doom-monger idiots, do not sensationalise a normal, albeit not an everyday event. Better to educate yourselves before speaking or writing..

As regards the reference to Valkyrie's I mentioned earlier. The Valkyries were female warriors on horseback who wore armour and carried spears and shields and were tasked with leading Odin’s chosen warriors to Valhalla. The Vikings believed the Northern Lights illuminating the sky were the reflections of the Valkyries’ armour as they led the warriors to Odin. Other Nordic legends claim the Aurora is the breath of brave soldiers who died in combat. In other stories, the Aurora was believed to be the ‘Bifrost Bridge’, a glowing, pulsing arch which led fallen warriors to their final resting place in Valhalla.

So, to finish this blog post off, here are a couple of totally unedited photos of the event taken with various smartphones:

Photo taken by our daughter in the Mount Rd area.

Photo taken by our daughter in the Mount Rd area.

Photo taken by one of our sons in the Talke area.

Photo taken by one of our grandsons Zack in the Talke area.

Brilliant images and thanks to all our family for making this article possible. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and it would be fantastic if we can ever witness this event again without relocating ourselves to much more Northern and colder climes. All comments on this post, good or bad, are very much welcomed. Thanks for reading and I will see you next time...

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Kez Bloor
Kez Bloor
May 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Quality write up ✨

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