Aurora Over Swinford 13th October 2016

With the Autumn now here we are now entering the Aurora season once again. The Aurora Over Swinford 13th October 2016 wasn’t one I was expecting so soon! NOAA the space weather prediction centre, issued an alert for increased Aurora activity for the 14th of October. As always though, the Aurora can be highly unpredictable. Due to increased solar winds (over 1000 Km/sec) it arrived a day early! When I saw the alert for Kp8+, I grabbed the camera bag and headed for high ground!

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Photo: f/2.8, 15 sec, ISO-100, @18mm.

As always I missed the best of the Aurora show. When I got to my usual location the Aurora was already weakening. I did manage to get a hint of green. And its only after getting home that I noticed I’d captured a shooting star! Top left of the above photo.

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Photo: f/2.8, 10 sec, ISO-400, @18mm.

Unusually there weather was perfect, clear skies but cold. Unfortunately the moon was out, high and bright in the sky. So bright it washed the Aurora out, what little of it that was there. Again I got another shooting star, shooting through the plough.

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Photo: f/2.8, 10 sec, ISO-400, @18mm.

The cows even wanted to get in shot. The Aurora show tonight was a bit of a let down, going by the data that was showing earlier. It was predicted to be storming G4 with a Kp of 8+. That’s when I grabbed the camera and hit the road, but as usual I’d missed the best of it. I also made the same mistake yet again, as I always do, not having my lens prefocused. I struggled yet again trying to get perfect focus manually, in the dark, in the cold. Maybe tomorrow night again I might have better luck.

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Predicted Kp at 20.00 on Thursday the 13th.

Here’s what the Aurora oval looked like at the time.

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Aurora Oval at 21.00 13th October 2016.

Michael Maye

Following Mayo football all around Ireland and halfway around the world. Been known to take the odd match photo sometimes! P.R.O. of Swinford Tidy Towns & committee member since 2004. I also admin on MayoClub51.com. Member of Swinford camera Club since 2009 and current P.R.O.

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