The Aurorae

I saw this wonderful time-lapse movie of the Aurora Borealis on Bad Astronomy, and couldn’t resist posting it here as a New Year’s gift. If you can watch it full screen at high-definition then you’ll enjoy it even more. And if you’ve never experienced the Aurorae in reality, then put it on your things-I-must-do-before-I-die list immediately!

5 Responses to “The Aurorae”

    • Monica Grady Says:

      Seeing an aurora was on my ‘things to do before I’m fifty’ list, but as I failed in achieving that, it is now on my ‘bucket list’. What else is on yours? Have you ever seen a total eclipse of the sun – that is awesome.

      Happy New Year,


  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    I saw a fine display late one night driving back from Glasgow to my flat 20 miles west, about 20 years ago during a noted solar storm. But I couldn’t hear any music accompanying it.

    I was on Alderney for the 1999 eclipse of the sun – the only one of the Channel Islands to achieve totality. I believe Peter was there too, although on an astrotrip whereas I was simply staying with friends who had a house there.

    For a gratuitous change of subject, mountaineer historian Tom Holzel is currently on Mt Everest looking for Andrew Irvine’s body, having identified several possible anomalies on blown-up high-resolution photos, and exploiting knowledge of where Mallory’s body was found in the 1990s. The dream, as was unrealised with Mallory’s body, is to find the camera they carried in 1924, with an undeveloped photo taken from the summit in it. Holzel has a deal with the BBC but he says that he does not intend to blab while he is still on the mountain.

    • telescoper Says:

      I was indeed on Alderney for thr 1999 total eclipse; I did a spot of filming during the day for a programme called Six Experiments that Changed the World, with the late Ken Campbell.

      The eclipse itself was a wonderful experience, partly because we thought it would be clouded out but just at the right moment the clouds parted. The things I remember best is how cold it got, and the strange shadows left by aircraft con trails.

      Years ago I went on a trip to norther Norway to see the Aurorae, it must have been near the previous solar maximum. It was a mind-blowing experience, no doubt helped by the strong liquor I had imbibed to keep out the cold.

  2. Time-lapse photography is all very well, but how does the aurora appear to the naked eye – does it visibly move? If not, it seems hardly worth the expense and effort of going somewhere in the world to observe it when still shots in a book would suffice.

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