Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Flying Pigs

Last night could have been one of the truly memorable nights of skywatching - but it just didn't live up to its promise. For a start, the cloud took its time to clear, so it wasn't until after ten that the Geminids made an appearance, and very good they were, except that the best shooting stars simply refused to pass through the area of sky at which the camera was pointing. Despite this, two pictures out of about fifty taken clearly show meteors, of which the above is the best. One day the fates will be kind and a really bright shooting star will burn across the lens.

There were some very good moments, with a couple of the shooting stars leaving a glowing, powdery trail behind them, and others showing some colour. It was cold work, but well worth it.

Meanwhile, we should have been seeing an aurora. This is the Marsport Observatory's trace for last night, and the red event certainly was happening, with the sky away to the north of us pink with the aurora - but only in the gaps between the clouds. By the time the overcast finally cleared, towards midnight, the event was largely over. If you want to see what could have been, look at the AuroraWatch Flickr group here, on which there are a couple of superb pictures from Milovaig, Skye.

One day this blog will carry a photo of a shooting star falling through a magnificent aurora. And one day Hughie's pigs will fly.


  1. Nice pictures, I was just reading an interesting article yesterday about photographing meteors and how it is very hard to capture them. Although even after this insight I'm still unable to tell the difference between a satellite and a meteor with certainty.


  2. Thanks, Andrew. Satellites go across the sky relatively slowly, meteors flash - they really are shooting stars. Jon