21st August 2003

Solar wind gusts from a coronal hole buffeted the Earth's magnetosphere on the 21st August 2003.  Magnetic conditions were favourable producing a brief, but attractive display. The weather almost got in the way, but clear skies moving in from the west allowed for an almost uninterrupted view at a location to the east of Edinburgh, with clear views to the north over the Firth of Forth.

What the the eye saw was a distinct greenish, and actively pulsing, arc in the north which sprouted numerous white beams reaching an altitude of 30 at times. These continually waxed and waned over the period of the display (22:50 - 23:55 UT). 

During the display we saw a lovely yellow crescent moon rise in the NE and brilliant Mars dominate in the south. Overhead the beautiful Milky Way through Cygnus shone brightly.

Here's a few of my images that featured in a Spaceweather.com aurora gallery.


Clearing cloud allows some strong beams to shine through; 30s exposure onto Fuji Superia 800 print film.

Clear skies and the full extent of the display is apparent; conditions as above.

Several attractive beams highlight the display. The Plough is upper left.


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