Sunday had one more surprise in store for Orkney. After several nights of probable aurora, but way too much cloud cover to see it, tonight was clear and still with minimal cloud. And the Northern Lights, or Merry Dancers as they're called here, put on a fabulous show.
Both of these photos were taken from our front door, mainly because it was freezing and I'm a complete wuss. The first image shows the main band of the auroral arc with many rays emanating from it. The dull red glow, bottom right, is the glow from Kirkwall, I think.
The second image is looking more west than the usual north. It is thought that the pale ray may be a Steve, as it is separate from the main arc of the aurora. Above Steve is the Pleiades star cluster. Below Steve is another cluster, several ships and a couple of rigs anchored in Scapa Flow.
Cameras do tend to over-emphasise the colours, as to my naked eye the aurora tends to be a pale greeny-grey. There are many better photos of the night's entertainment, taken by folk with more camera skills than I, on the Orkney Aurora Group Facebook page.
Wow! Absolutely stunning.
It was an amazing spectacle, especially as it won't be too long before the lengthening days put an end to the season for this Winter. I usually miss all the excitement, as 10pm normally sees me tucked up in bed. Last night's aurora was at a very civilised time either side of the watershed.
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