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Sky at Night Magazine - - OCTOBER / IMAGING FOR SCIENCE -

“The Aurora and Noc­tilu­cent Cloud Sec­tion of the Bri­tish As­tro­nom­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion en­cour­ages ob­ser­va­tions of both the aurora and NLCs; the re­cruit­ment and train­ing of ob­servers; and the col­lec­tion, anal­y­sis and re­port­ing of th­ese events in the north­ern hemi­sphere,” says sec­tion di­rec­tor San­dra Brant­ing­ham (pic­tured). “The present ob­server net­work com­prises mem­bers of the BAA or other as­tro­nom­i­cal so­ci­eties, in­di­vid­ual ob­servers, pro­fes­sional me­te­o­rol­o­gists and of­fi­cers at sea and in the air. Ob­ser­va­tions are col­lected mainly from the Bri­tish Isles and other Euro­pean coun­tries, with a few re­ports be­ing re­ceived from Canada and the United States.

“Our sec­tion in­ves­ti­gates the be­hav­iour of the mid-lat­i­tude storm aurora as the po­lar au­ro­ral oval ex­pands dur­ing ac­tive con­di­tions, as well as the fluc­tu­a­tions of NLCs be­tween May and Au­gust. The orig­i­nal re­ports re­ceived from ob­servers are placed in the archives of the Univer­sity of Aberdeen and the de­tails are the sub­ject of oc­ca­sional news­let­ters, re­ports and tech­ni­cal pa­pers pub­lished in the BAA Jour­nal.

“Re­cently a new at­mo­spheric phe­nom­e­non called STEVE (Sud­den Ther­mal Emis­sion Ve­loc­ity En­hance­ment) has been seen by ob­servers to the west of main aurora dis­plays. There­fore it can be seen much fur­ther south than a main dis­play and may be seen on its own.

“NLC for­ma­tions this year have been mas­sive and have been seen as far south as south­ern France, but they are only vis­i­ble be­tween 22:00 UT and 02:00 UT.”

To con­trib­ute to the Sec­tion, send any re­ports and pho­to­graphs to san­[email protected]­

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