Greg has been watching his favourite websites for clues as to when we might be lucky enough to see more Lights and it all seemed like the planets – or rather the coronal hole in the sun, the magnetic field and the solar wind – might be aligned last night. We went to bed and set the alarm for 10:30pm and … there were Lights. Incredible, moving, shimmering, bright lights!
Watching the Lights is both greater and lesser than looking at photos of them. Lesser because our eyes can’t pick up the incredible colours that a camera can, or at least, our old short-sighted peepers can’t see those vivid greens or pinks or reds or purples, it all just looks like lighter bands, mostly towards the north, but sometimes stretching across the sky.
And greater because we can see the 3 dimensionality of them much better than the camera can: the curtains of light that really do shimmer or ripple when you know what to look for, and the way the lights bloom across the sky and shift while you’re watching them.
We spent a couple of hours standing and sitting just outside the front door of the cottage we’re staying in, occasionally nipping back inside to warm up when the Lights weren’t putting on much of a show. And then by 1am it was all over and the sky went back to its usual moonless darkness. We set the alarm to wake up every couple of hours, but there was no more action, although there is more predicted for this afternoon and tonight.
So, we’ve really seen them properly now. It’s taken a couple of trips and a lot of waiting around, but those couple of hours last night made it all worth it!