20th April 2002

Twisted magnetic fields above sunspot 9906 unleashed a couple of coronal mass ejections that struck the Earth's magnetic field on the 17th and the 19th April. Skies above Central Scotland were completely clouded out for the first event, but there were clear spells on the night of the 19th and 20th. On the 19th from a location west of Stirling there were no indications of any activity until clouds rolled in around 23:30 UT. A drive eastwards found clear skies at Sheriffmuir, north east of Stirling, and a patient wait was rewarded when a moderate aurora began around 01:30 UT on the 20th. It persisted for about 2 hrs (during intermittent spells of cloud) until dawn twilight began around 03:30 UT.

Here are three of my images taken on the morning of the 20th April 2002.


20-04-02 (1) vsm.jpg (3389 bytes)

A short reddish beam passes through Andromeda into Cassiopeia; 40s exposure through 28mm lens at f/1.8.

20-04-02 (2) vsm.jpg (3449 bytes)

Three reddish beams to the north with a brighter green glow along the horizon; 50s exposure through a 16mm lens at f/2.8.

20-04-02 (3) vsm.jpg (3276 bytes)

Reddish short beams passing through Pegasus into Lacerta; 30s exposure through a 28mm lens at f/1.8.


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