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The Aurora Borealis (“Northern Lights”) from Gruinart, Islay. 9 September 2015.

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I was fortunate enough to be on Islay during a period of solar activity which created the aurora borealis – many thanks to the friend who spotted it first.

It didn’t appear like this to the naked eye – at least, not to my eyes. It was a dirty grey-green, slowly moving light in the north. I haven’t enhanced the colours during processing, other than change the brightness, contrast and levels: the shade of green and very dim red in these pictures is how it appeared on the unprocessed file.

I was lucky to take these photographs. I couldn’t see anything in the viewfinder – using a tripod and cable release, I simply pointed the camera and hoped. The exposures were set on the camera to between 15 and 30 seconds, with an ISO of 3200.

I hadn’t noticed the shooting star in the last image until I processed it. In some of the pictures, the stars of Ursa Major (“The Plough” or “Great Bear”) can be seen to the left of the image; in others, the Pleiades and Taurus can be seen to the right. These images cover approximately NW to NE.