JUNE 15/16TH



June 15/16th 02.06 BST. I wrote in my log book the following day...''Last night produced the most stunning NLC display of the 2009 season to date, and probably the best of the last two years''. Visible from 23.50 - 04.00 BST with sections lingering in the sky even as dawn broke. The first 13 images of this gallery document its changing profile during the night. Before dawn it covered the entire sky, even into the S. I watched it crawl past the last quarter Moon and planet Jupiter. It had amazing structure, some of which I had never observed before, veil, IIb well defined bands, waves/herringbone, large scale whirls, and lacunosus holes. It was a type 5 shadow-caster with stunning electric blue colour in it's mid section with a silvery-white canopy on top, all on a bed of glowing orange marking the position of the slowly rising Sun below the horizon.

The above image was taken just as the display was intensifying and beginning to rapidly grow in vertical height and horizontal coverage, which was greater than 160 degrees in azimuth. Here the image extends from N to NE when the display was 25 degrees high and growing higher by the min. The dominate structures are large scale whirls (my favourite structure), angled bands and waves with shadows cast onto other parts of the display. Capella is to the L, Perseus at centre, and Almach to the upper R. This was taken from a field in the Maghera countryside on an absolutely still night which was both peaceful and spooky at the same time. Low on the horizon is a distant line of dark convective clouds (Tropospheric or Trop cloud) which where producing showers over the N coast of NI. Behind the tree line is a growing bank of fog in the next field, this would soon became a major attraction in itself and compliment the NLC display. The next 12 images show how the display evolved.