JUNE 18/19TH



June 18/19th 01.26 BST. The sky was completely overcast and very dark. I was back at home having a nice mug of tea while chatting with Astronomer John McConnell over the phone, I kept looking out the windows on a regular basis for breaks but none where evident. It had been a while since I had seen the display now, and knowing full well that it would get better as the night went on, I was eager to see it again. While chatting and sipping tea I walked out to my back garden for one last look at the sky, I rounded the corner of my house and glanced to the N and NW where a large clearance had suddenly appeared, what I saw took my breath away. I was completely blown away by the spectacle in the sky, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing, it looked like intense Rococo style alien writing scribed across the sky, it could have been found within the tomb of an ancient Egyptian Pyramid. I went into a panic, I began making strange remarks over the Phone to John saying...''Oh my God, oh my God'' over and over again, ''John, you won't believe the NLC display I'm looking at rite now, it's the best I have ever seen in my life'', I recalled thinking that of all the images I have seen on the internet during my years of NLC research, not one of them looked like what I was seeing now. This was a major event and I needed to get out now. I just said ''John, I'm away...'', and the phone was back in its cradle.

I grabbed the camera and tripod and ran out of my area, across a country road, and jumped into the same field I had used before where the lights illuminated the grass. I was in a complete panic with adrenaline pumping, my hands were actually shaking as I tried to clip the camera onto the tripod and work out in my head what settings I needed. Time was of the essence, NLCs change by the min plus more cloud was building in the W and moving in so I needed to act now. There was no way I was going to let this display slip past me without getting good images. The above image is the first of the sequence, these are ISO200, aperture stopped down a little with exposures in the 4 - 6.5 sec range and various focal lengths. Capella is the only star visible here.