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AURORA 27/28 February 2014

The Great Auroral Display of 2014 February 27/28.


The series of images from the night of 2014 February 27/28 is a selection from over 100 images taken between 19h 15m UT on the 27th and 05h 15m UT on the 28th.


This auroral display was by no means the most impressive observed from Rousay within the past forty years. For one thing, certain features were lacking, notably rapidly moving whirls or coils of dense light that in the past have obliterated all but the brighter stars. Although the coronal effect was well demonstrated at times, this lasted no more than thirty minutes overall and was intermittent.


The range of colours too was more restrained omitting almost entirely anything form the blue end of the spectrum. (Note: aurora must not be confused with the continuous spectrum that is formed by dispersed white light, mostly from the Sun in daytime as in a typical rainbow.)


All images were obtained using a D100 SLR and Nikkor 24mm f/2,8 lens working at maximum aperture and at and ISO setting of 600. The camera was mounted on a portable, rigid altazimuth tripod giving some slight trailing of star mages noticeable on longer exposures. Exposure times varied from 1.5 sec. to 10 sec. and for a small number of later images, 15 sec.


A few examples of detached, slow moving “patches” are shown with familiar constellation backgrounds—Gemini (with brilliant planet Jupiter in its midst), Leo (demonstrating easterly distribution) and Orion (defining how far south of the zenith the aurora had moved).


The final image showing a faint, northern glow was taken at 04h 29m UT on the 28th before twilight started to take effect. Astute observers may detect the position of the Great Andromeda Galaxy above beta Andromedae. The brightest star in the field is Mirfak (alpha Persei).


All images are low resolution copies of the originals.


Those requiring more precise data are welcome to contact us via the web site visitor’s forum etc.



2014 March 03















This final image may be enlarged by left clicking the mouse button.


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