Kaddy Lee-Preston's official blog

If you were on twitter late last night you’d have felt the excitement oozing out of thousands of people’s twitter feeds – it was electric!  John Kemp alerted me to the possibility of a sighting of the Northern Lights as far south as Kent, after a recent Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) of the sun.

First there were swirly red and green sightings across Scotland, then Northern England and even the Midlands noted a green tinge to the sky.  But at 11pm nothing here in the south east.  By midnight I was starting to either need a coffee injection, or bed.  Sadly by 1230 the cloud started to roll in and there was no hint of the alluring rainbowy hues in the sky.  So nighty nighty be-byes time took the prize and I’ll admit my eyelids wibbled shut and the land of nod won.

And would you believe it – I check my emails this morning to see if I missed anything and John Kemp sends me this pic that he took just after 1230 – gutted!


Here’s what John had to say about it: Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from Herne Bay, Kent, 1.10 deg E 51.37 deg N  looking North across the Thames estuary to the Wind Farm and Essex.

Rare from this latitude, but I have seen it 8 times in 12 years, all as a result of spaceweather alerts from www.spacew.com .

Taken on 16th July 2012 00.00hr UT = 01.00hr BST. Sony A580 DSLR 10sec @ 1600 ISO 24mm lens @ f/2.8, minimally cropped to 16:9 aspect ratio for TV. White balance set to daylight – minimal processing, in particular NO adjustments to colour.

The rays were easily seen, but not bright. The red and yellow-green tints were just visible to the dark-adapted eye, but the purple only shows on the photographs. The display lasted from 23.35 UT on 15th to about 00.10 on 16th.

Best wishes to you all, John Kemp


Thanks John!   If anyone else saw it please do let us know x

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Comments on: "Aurora Borealis in the South East!" (1)

  1. Barry Hunt said:

    Saw very faint rays off Cliftonville but they were extremely faint and I had to use averted vision to confirm them, a life long ambition is achieved but I wish I’d taken my camera tripod as hand held long exposure isn’t to be recommended, better luck next time Kaddy:)

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