23rd April 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Northern lights show was ‘pretty good’, says photographer Taylor

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The Milky Way and aurora borealis, over Easthouse Croft, Papil, Burra on Monday. Photo: Austin Taylor

There was a “pretty good” show of the northern lights between 8 and 9pm on Monday, says photographer Austin Taylor.

He had headed to Papil to try to photograph the zodiacal light. That is a “rather tricky” phenomenon to photograph that is best seen in the weeks leading up to spring equinox (after sunset) and after autumn equinox (before sunrise – sometimes known as false dawn). But he managed to capture some stunning shots of the northern lights, too.

Mr Taylor said: “To see it [zodiacal light] one needs to look in the right direction (west at this time of year), be in a very dark location (hence Papil) and look when there’s no, or very little moonlight. Even Venus is really too bright.

“Anyway, I managed to get a reasonable photo… Zodiacal light is caused by sunlight scattered by space dust which occupies the space between planets in the Solar System and in other planetary systems.

“The other photos are ‘just’ aurora borealis, though [the published photograph] is rather nice as it shows the Milky Way very well over the Easthouse Croft, as well as the aurora.”

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