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“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]mail.co.uk