NORTH­ERN DE­LIGHTS

Sky-watch­ers in dream­land cap­tur­ing spec­tac­u­lar nat­u­ral won­der on cam­era

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Carla Tal­bot

Stargaz­ers were treated to a spec­tac­u­lar dis­play as the North­ern Lights lit up the skies across Loch Lomond.

The prom­ise of the stun­ning mul­ti­coloured light show saw a num­ber of keen pho­tog­ra­phers across West Dun­bar­ton­shire brave the cold weather to catch a glimpse of the so­lar flare.

The ma­jes­tic sight – which is also known as aurora bo­re­alis – is the re­sult of elec­tri­cally charged par­ti­cles from the sun smash­ing into gaseous par­ti­cles in our planet’s at­mos­phere.

This causes bright, colour­ful danc­ing lights in white, green, pink and pur­ple that il­lu­mi­nate the sky and are con­sid­ered an in­cred­i­ble sight to be­hold.

The North­ern Lights are a fa­mous at­trac­tion in the Nor­we­gian Fjords, with Ice­land listed as one of the best places to wit­ness them from Septem­ber to mid-April.

But lo­cals didn’t have to hop on a plane as the Bon­nie Banks proved to de­liver just as mag­nif­i­cent a dis­play last Wed­nes­day.

Ar­eas with lit­tle or no light pol­lu­tion are the ideal spot to get a de­cent view of the light show, along­side clear skies and cold, crisp weather.

To see the aurora you need a strong so­lar wind, which we have, but you also need clear and dark skies – it can’t be seen in day­light or with light pol­lu­tion.

And Novem­ber 7 and 8 ticked all the right boxes, al­low­ing for an im­pres­sive view of the nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non.

Met Of­fice spokes­woman Emma Sharples ex­plained: “Con­di­tions on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day couldn’t have been more per­fect to see the North­ern Lights, es­pe­cially in an area such as Loch Lomond.

“It was an evening where it was dry, cold and there were lit­tle to no cloud and that is ex­actly what was needed to be able to get the best view.

“The lights are caused by a geo­met­ric storm which reached earth and caused the flare which in­creases peo­ple’s chances of be­ing able to see some­thing.

“Un­for­tu­nately with the weather tak­ing a turn and it be­com­ing damper and cloudier into this week, the chances of see­ing any of the re­main­ing lights is wan­ing.”

If you didn’t man­age to catch them there will be more chances.

The best way to pre­pare for that is to know when the aurora is com­ing, and you can do this by sign­ing up for aurora watch alerts.

It was an evening where it was dry, cold and there were lit­tle to no cloud

Stun­ning views Kyle Knox cap­tured th­ese images of the Lights over Loch Lomond

In the spot­light This im­age of the North­ern Lights over the Maid of the Loch on Loch Lomond was taken by Turkey Red Me­dia us­ing a drone

Scenic David McEl­roy cap­tured this shot

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