JUNE 15/16TH



June 15/16th 02.58 BST. It was now not long before dawn and the sky was beginning to brighten, however plenty of stars where still visible. I moved location deeper into the Maghera countryside and found a long quiet country road which extends along the dark bottom of this image and out of frame to the L and R. The NLC display was gorgeous now and I couldn't stop myself from taking image after image, this was challenging due to the great contrast in colours and magnitude of the display and sky. Trying to leave the shutter open long enough to capture the detail without overexposing the scene was not easy and required many attempts to find the secret combination of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. These images are only a few sec's long. The above and following images are all at 28mm wide angle. The display extended out of the frame to the L and R and far above the frame to the upper L where NLC tendrils could be seen creeping across the zenith, I needed to crane my neck back to see those so this will give some idea to the scale of things. Image spans N to NE. A large portion of it is out of frame to the L.

The magnitude of this NLC display was phenomenal, I could have read a book by its light without any exaggeration. Even the dark country road I stood on was illuminated in eerie light showing moisture droplets glowing between the cracks in the concrete. On the other side of the hedge was a wonderful dense bank of fog, and the entire bank was glowing brightly due to the intense light of the NLCs, this was an awesome experience. Take another glance at the image and apply and consider what I just described. That bank of fog is glowing from the light of the NLCs!, what's more it was also glowing a vivid blue colour which is something the camera doesn't show very well. I went into that field of fog and felt like I was standing in an Alien world with glowing blue fog all around me, this is something I shall never forget, simply stunning. Fainter filaments of fog have crossed the road and are now in front of the camera giving the images a slight misty look, this was low ground and perfect for fog formation.

I was amazed by the structure to the RHS which consisted of multiple bands, slightly angled with respect to the horizon, which crossed the road glowing silver-blue as they crept towards the NE more and more by the min with fine shadows below the bands making for a very 3-D like structure. The tips of those bands fanned out into a strange elliptical patch like a wooden spoon with curves of dark lucunosus holes at centre. In the main body of the display to the centre was one of the strangest NLC structures I have ever seen. It's almost washed out in the image, with the naked eye it looked like a huge curved structure like a weight lifter's belt, on it where strange twisted coils which looked skeletal in nature, like a twisted spine with small proturbances like ribs. It looks white in the image, however visually it was glowing intense GOLD in colour with an eerie yellow fringe above the belt. Above the gold the display changed from white to electric blue with an orange-red horizon below. It was simply stunning, immediately at the time I recall placing it among the top displays I have ever seen in my life. With such displays of immense size and complexity like these it's very difficult to capture all of this on camera and do it justice.