Thursday, 26 January 2012


I can't believe it!  The other day on one of the very rare occasions when I watched TV and - even rarer  - watched the news and weather (I tend to just look out the window), the weather forecaster mentioned that the Northern Lights might be visible in Northern Britain.  I took this to mean the outer reaches of Scotland and did nothing about it.

Bill's very talented friend, Graham, spent hours at Whitley Bay, just up the coast from us - I've shown it to you several times - and shared his photo of Aurora Borealis on Facebook, the first we realised what we'd missed.  This led me to look on the internet and find these photos on The Telegraph website.

It's something I've always wished to see, though I've not booked a trip to Tromsø or anything (where the above photo was taken).  It needed not only the sun's activity producing the beautiful light but also a cloudless night, another rare event here in Britain.

In fact, I remember years ago camping out at Bellingham (in the wilds of Northumberland) at a friend's house with other members of my running club the night before a race.  There was an enormous BBQ - I've never seen so much meat or so much beer and wine - and at some point I wandered down to the riverside for a spot of quiet.  I looked up and saw so many stars I had to go fetch some of the others to share the beauty.  I was astonished at how many people my age remarked that they had never before seen the Milky Way. 

I may have to figure out how to get email alerts for when the Northern Lights might be visible again, not that I imagine Bill sitting outside for hours to wait for the possibility.  I also don't have a camera with the capability of capturing the beauty should it present itself.  So, perhaps I should settle for photos.

How we lower our sights...


Beryl said...

Oh, the Milky Way is amazing, isn't it? Now that I no longer live in grey, constantly overcast Seattle, I am rediscovering the stars at night - which I'm sure you remember being so vivid in Oklahoma. I wonder what type of camera would capture that image? Closer to the point, could I afford such a camera?

Anonymous said...

the one time in my life that I've ever seen them was in eastern Montana and it was quite by accident! But, it was very, very memorable.