Tuesday 11 February 2014

Northern Lights

Photograph of Northern Lights, Sandwick Shetland 07/02/2014 Kevin Riley

There are lots of advantages to living in Shetland and many beautiful things to see and experience. The winter night sky is one of them; it is fantastic on any clear night and shooting stars are a regular occurrence. This winter has been dominated by great views of Jupiter and some of it's moons. The Northern lights are a real highlight and there is something special and spectacular about an aurora especially when it catches you by surprise. This photo was taken by my husband who was out stargazing and no aurora had even been forecast. We get a faint glow quite often but a 'full show' like this is special, it gets really light and the sky ripples as curtains of light move across.

We have been lucky to catch five such auroras that stand out in the five years we have been here. Each one being different and having its own merits from being right overhead to having red amongst the green and huge 'curtains'. It is stunning and it makes you feel rather small in the universe. The more I think about the particles causing it the more mind blowing it becomes. This photograph has not been manipulated and it taken from a bridge camera with a long exposure. I like it as it is a good reflection of the strength of the aurora albeit not able to do the ripples justice.

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