Spectecular Mothers Day Aurora from Beaghmore stone circles 06/03/2016
31/12/2015 Aurora Hunt 26
as I celebrated Christmas week , I wasn't planning on taking the camera out of the bag for a week, I parked the van up and said the van isn't moving for a couple of days. So on Tuesday when I checked the space weather website I wasn't expecting to see that Sunspot region 2473 produced a long duration M1.8 solar flare but all we got was an Earth Directed partial halo CME, it was to arrive sometime on the 30th. I was even more surprised when I seen G3 storm conditions ( kp7) forecast for this event. so the long wait started , the CME arrived after midnight on the 31st. It was abit of a disappointment when I seen that the solar wind speed wasn't that impressive with the cme and that it def wasn't going to be a G3 event. but it didn't stop me going for the camera bag jumping in the van and up to the coast I went.
I arrived at ballintoy at about 5pm on Newyears eve, I had a couple of places in mind for foreground, but as it was newyears eve a lot of the holiday homes in ballintoy had there outside lights on which ruined my Ideas completely. I didn't want to go to the causeway as there had been landslides there during the week, (better safe than sorry) so it was off to Dunluce castle. nothing was happening when I arrived, I gathered up the gear and headed down to the castle were I met Ryan Simpson, My phone had just died so asked him what way the Bz was. he said the Bz was south by some degree. That it was the solar wind speed was low. I was abit mythed and ryan said he was going to head home, I got back in the van and sat for half an hour, I took a few exposures and seen a faint glow on the horizon. headed back down to the castle. Ryan jumped out also. the green glow enhanced and was now visable to the naked eye. cloud on the horizon was hampering our view at this point. I started shouting come on beams were are ye. not to long after that we started to see beams pop up from the cloud. Me and Ryan cheered and Ryan was well pleased that he didn't go on home.
After a while things Died down. I was bitterly cold and needed abit of warmth after spending 2 hours out shooting at dunluce. I stopped for a bite to eat at bushmills and as I was getting out of the van I closed the door and my cable release lead snapped as i closed the door. this has happened me before so i wasnt abit pleased.lol anyhow headed for ballintoy once more. I was hoping the outside lights from the holiday homes were turned off. unfortunitly the weren't so decided to head behind the cottage café. I met fellow photographer Glenn miles who ive met many times when out shooting the aurora and the night sky. we got talking how cold it was, and wondered would things kick off again. glenn hoped into the car for a cup of coffee, so I headed for my spot and started shooting timelapse by firing the shutter every 30 seconds by hand.lol gruelling operation but I managed. about an hour into it near magnetic midnight. I started to see beams to the far right, it slowly picked up momentum and went into outburst. People that have been with me when the aurora goes into outburst, Knows I find it very hard to hide my excitement. I was roaring beams beams beams. Woo hoo woo hoo come on beams yes. yeeehhhaaa.lol I thought I was on my own but as I turned around there was 2 couples staring down at me from behind the wall.lol they prob thought I was a raving maniac. but who cares. I don't.lol any how I don't know how but I managed to repeat the shutter as it was dancing in the sky. the highest beams were about 30 degrees in height.
after a couple of hours the cold was getting to me once more and I was seriously tired and I had along drive ahead of me so decide to head back home at about 1am. what a way to bring in the new year, THE REAL FIREWORKS DISPLAY
with 2 CME's erupted of the sun on wednesday, friday night I was all geared up for the awaited Aurora hunt. I decided to hit the coast friday and saturday night, and it was a massive disapointment, the CME's were late by 16 hours than predicted. then when it did hit the BZ stayed north all night so I thought, it was over, but was i wrong, woke up sunday morning checked the models and the aurora was blazing, I went to the cinema to see the new starwars movie got out and as i g...ot out of the van in dungannon I seen massive green beams to the north. I hurried up to beaghmore stonecircles and was met with a green diffused glow across the horizon. i took abit of timelapse then decided i would hit the coast last night and driving up the road at about 11:45 the sky erupted, I wish the van had light speed.lol too much starwars lately.lol i pulled in at desertmartin and just sat watching it didnt even take a shot. i didnt want to take my eyes off it. I jumped back in the van and made to dunluce castle and luckly there was still abit of activity from the out burst got the 2 cameras out and started shooting. I later moved to the giants causeway took a few there before driving back home at about half 4 this morning. all and all a hectic weekend but I was repayed for my effort after all.
An Auroral band across the sky at beaghmore stone circles
Dancing beams of light, Dunluce Castle
Dancing beams of light, Dunluce Castle
Me on top of the rocks at the giants causeway with aurora band behind me
my very first proper aurora on the 27th February 2013 captured on camera in my home town dungannon. a day I will never forget
the St patricks day Aurora 2015. this was a very intense aurora, with massive beams right over head. there was a very big outburst, around 11:30pm never seen anything like it in my life. the colours were pulsating like crazy. I had a quiet place on the north coast to enjoy this. I was on my own. what a show.
this was the St Patricks day 2015 Aurora, 11:30 outburst taken with 18mm lens. 8 exposures and stitched togeather
this was the St Patricks day 2015 Aurora on the north coast, intense beams!!
Twighlight Aurora at ballintoy harbour 07 October 2015
the Aurora Elephant rock Ballintoy
Aurora 07 October 2015 Ballintoy sea Stacks