Posts Tagged ‘cornwall’

Northern Lights In The UK

Over the past couple of nights, it has been possible, if you are lucky enough, to view the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in most parts of the country, and even as far south as Cornwall. In fact, there were some amazing photos taken at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall by a cameraman and photographer called Stephen Oxborrow (see pic below).

Northern Lights Over Goonhilly Earth Station

Northern Lights Over Goonhilly Earth Station by Stephen Oxborrow

This amazing sight, seen over Cornwall, was due to a severe solar storm hitting the Earth and causing very highly charged particles to hit the Earth’s magnetic field. Due to the intensity of the storm, the spectacle could be seen much farther South than normal (not just in the Arctic).

So last night I decided to take a quick drive up to Dartmoor to see if I could see the amazing Northern Lights. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful and could only see blackness (there is currently no Moon early in the night).  I did try a few places but all I could see in the sky was a vast amount of stars shining brightly back at me.  It was a real shame, and if I wasn’t alone, I may have stayed out a bit longer. Hopefully there will be another opportunity to see this amazing phenomenon at some point in my life.

If you saw any of the Northern Lights, please tweet me at @strethewey and let me know, along with any pictures which I will be happy to post on this blog. 😉

Leonid Meteor Shower

I was out on November 3rd at  a Fireworks show in Trispen in Cornwall and whilst I was waiting for the Fireworks to start I was having a good look at the Sky.  It was clear as a bell and a very cold evening, so the Stars were shining brilliantly. To my amazement, I saw a really bright and big shooting star followed by another, and another, and another and another. I think I saw a total of 6 or 7 in the end and they were all really clear to view, and were flying across the Sky right above us! It was an amazing sight as I wasn’t expecting to see a Meteor show as well!

A few days later I looked up whether there were any Meteor showers taking place around this time and found that the Meteors must have been from the Leonids which is a Meteor shower that happens throughout November every year. The best days to view them this year were on the 17th and 20th of November, so I was very lucky to see as many as I did in only about 45 minutes of viewing, a good couple of weeks before the height of the shower.

The Leonids are said to be a lot better quality than the Perseids in August as they are much brighter and about 10mm in diameter, and this was certainly true from my observations. The Perseids paled in comparison to the Leonids. These Meteors originate from a Comet named Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865 by Ernst Tempel, and radiate from the constellation Leo (hence their name).

Remember to keep an eye out for them next year as they are a great sight to behold!