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BAA Journal 2017 February

Auroral activity, 2016 Oct 20–Dec 25

Journal issue: 2017 February
Pages: 8–8

With no coronal mass ejections and sunspot numbers only just in double figures or at zero, all the aurora sightings are now coming from coronal holes. The Sun did create a huge coronal hole in July and that seems to have become a standard feature supplying us with aurorae about every 4 weeks, but without the massive power of a CME, they are rarely seen south of Scotland.

The first impact started on Oct 24/25 with sightings by Denis Buczynski from Tarbatness, Gordon Mackie in Thurso, James Mackintosh in Cromarty and Alan Tough from Elgin in Moray. Oct 26/27 had sightings by James Fraser in Tarbatness, James Mackintosh in Cromarty, Alan Tough in Elgin and Andy Heenan in Dundee. I managed to see it on Oct 28/29 from the Moray Firth along with Alan Tough, also Gordon Mackie in Thurso and James Fraser and Denis Buczynski, both in Tarbatness.

A weak display on Nov 3/4 was picked up by Denis Buczynski from Tarbatness while another weak display was seen by Alan Tough in Elgin on Nov 10/11. The next big event started with a sighting in Thurso by Gordon Mackie on Nov 23/24. Nov 24/25 saw sightings by myself from the Moray coast along with Alan Tough, also Gordon Mackie in Thurso and James Fraser and Denis Buczynski, both in Tarbatness.

A weak display on Dec 7/8 was seen by Denis Buczynski in Tarbatness and Alan Tough from Hopeman, Moray. The last pre-Christmas show was a two day event, with no reindeer or Santa, on Dec 21/22 with sightings from myself on the Moray coast, Gordon Mackie in Thurso and Denis Buczynski in Tarbatness, and Dec 22/23 which was seen by myself from the Moray coast & Denis Buczynski from Tarbatness.

For those of you who are stuck in light polluted areas or out of range of the aurora, here is a webcam operated by the Shetland tourist board: http://www.shetland.org/60n/webcams/cliff-cam-3. The camera looks north and, if there is no cloud, it will give a good view of any aurora or NLC (and you can listen to the waves & sea birds). However, the sound of the waves has been a little loud in the recent gales.

Sandra Brantingham, Director, Aurora & NLC Section