Aurora heaven

The night of February 27th will be remembered for quite a while. We had simply the most incredible show of aurora I have ever seen. The colours were so vivid to the naked eye and i easily could see deep reds and some purple as well as green. My target was Beaghmore stone circles because it was close and i was running out of time. The CME produced from the recent X4.9 solar flare had arrived in late afternoon and it immediately stirred up the aurora. Beaghmore is a great dark site with good horizons from the west through the north and right around to the east. The ancient stones are also a great foreground interest. I met up with local photographer Jude Browne and my good friend and sidekick Martin McKenna was en route. On arrival the aurora was a green band and it got progressively better and went into outburst around 20:15. The green band brightened and huge red and purple beams stretched high into the sky. This is a small selection from that frenzy of activity, it was hard to concentrate on taking images as the visual show was pure mad.

The aurora died down after 21:00 so Martin and i made the decision to hit Lough Fea outside Cookstown for a change of scenery while Jude was very happy with her results especially as it was her first aurora, so she headed home.

Lough Fea now and this beautiful red ribbon of aurora greeted us. The waters of the lough were calm and just perfect for reflections. We arrived just in time as 5 minutes later it died down again and settled into a calm green band for the rest of the night. A truly amazing night and one not to forget for a long time!!

*I will complete a more detailed report with more images in the near future.