A surprise August aurora

Aurora over the Black IsleAn August aurora borealis over Rosemarkie Bay, Scotland


I’ve been fortunate enough to see some extremely good displays of the aurora borealis over Scotland over the last few years. Every winter I try to keep an eye on geomagnetic activity in order to maximise my chances of seeing the aurora, and upon hearing news of a display starting I’ve often dropped whatever I’ve been doing and rushed off in my car to a dark spot.

It isn’t until October that I start to think about aurora-watching, so it was a great surprise last week to see a Facebook update from Glendale Skye Auroras saying that a very bright aurora was in progress. I was in the middle of cooking myself some tea at the time but I thought it worth a look so I grabbed my camera and rushed off down to Chanonry Point a couple of miles down the road.

I’d tried photographing the aurora from Chanonry before but found that there was too much artificial light getting in the way. However as soon as I arrived on the beach it was obvious that I might have more luck, as a strong auroral arc was clearly visible across the northern sky. I started to think about where to go on the beach for a good composition, but before I’d really had a chance to move the show started.

I’m usually taken by surprise at just how quickly the aurora can escalate, and this time was no exception. Tall columns appeared within seconds and there was some nice movement for a while, clearly visible above the street-lights of Rosemarkie. As I hadn’t had a chance to find somewhere with a good foreground I just made the most of it and enjoyed the novelty of photographing a strong aurora during a summer night in Scotland.


Aurora over the Black Isle
Aurora over the Black Isle
Aurora over the Black Isle

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