Archive

Archive for March, 2016

The Dark Skies of Anglesey, North Wales

March 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Spent a few days up on Anglesey near Penmon where they have stunning dark skies so I took the opportunity to do a little astrophotography from the back garden of the cottage, which overlooked the sea to the north. Orion was prominent in the western sky while to the south Jupiter was rising above the roof and through the trees. Many star clusters were visible with the naked eye including the Double Cluster, three clusters in the southern half of Auriga and M44 (The Beehive) near Gemini. The Andromeda Galaxy was easy to find in the north.

The Isle of Anglesey AONB is currently working towards gaining Dark Sky Reserve Status and you can follow their progress here The view was quite spectacular on a moonless night with stars from horizon to horizon. Light pollution was minimal for naked eye viewing, particularly to the north and west. The main problem for photographers will be the large number of passenger jets heading east – west in the north and it was difficult to take a photo which did not have a plane trail in it.

All images taken with the Sony RX100, F1.8, 28mm, ISO 3200, 8 second exposures.

DSC05672

Orion in the west

DSC05678

Jupiter rising through the lower branches of the tree

DSC05690

Jupiter gleaming over Penmaenmawr and the Snowdonia Mountains

DSC05685

Looking west to Benllech and Amlwch with the constellations Cassiopeia, Perseus  and Andromeda. The faint smudge just right of centre is the Andromeda Galaxy.

DSC05675

Looking north west to Cassiopeia and Andromeda with the Milky Way faintly glowing

DSC05677

The Plough looking north east

Advertisements

Spectacular Aurora over Mid Wales tonight !

Once again the value of Twitter for aurora alerts was proven tonight. I started to pick up reports of a Class G-1 storm reaching KP5 levels of visibility in Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland at around 8.20pm tonight and then by 9pm there were reports from Southern Ireland. I thought I would take a look even though no reports from Wales were coming in and was rewarded with the most spectacular light show to date for our area. Pillars of white light were numerous with a background of greens and magenta reds in the north and north west. Occasional higher bands could be seen early on right round to the west and fairly high up.

DSC05460

DSC05469spikes

DSC05478spike

DSC05490

DSC05508spikes-cassio

Images taken 9.30 – 10.30 6/3/16 Sony RX100, ISO 3200, 28mm, F1.8, 8 seconds.

Categories: Aurora, Uncategorized Tags: , , ,