A Guide To Seeking The Northern Lights From N. Ireland - TALK

'A Guide To Seeking The Northern Lights From N. Ireland' is the first public presentation I've ever gave on the Aurora Borealis, a subject I'm deeply passionate about. I observed my first Aurora in 1998 by accident and the sighting affected me profoundly. To date I've observed and photographed 178 Northern Light displays, all of which where captured from Ireland/N. Ireland. With this Aurora hunting background I feel I have something to say, however more importantly I feel I have something to share to help others in their quest to see the Northern Lights. Thanks to social media and advances in camera technology and mobile phones this subject has surged in interest in recent years.

This talk is intended as a primer for the inspiring Aurora hunter and photographer. My intention is to lay down a solid celestial foundation covering the background science needed to understand what the Aurora is, what causes it, and more importantly if it can predicted. The information in this talk covers a vast range, from Aurora trigger mechanisms, sunspot observing, visual Aurora structures to basic photography advice. There's sufficient substance here to understand your subject and greatly improve your chances of ticking the Aurora off your bucket list, and not just any Aurora, the more rare spectacular events which can change your life forever, as they did for me. The talk covers the following...

Aurora Talk

* A personal perspective - how I got started - my first Aurora sighting on August 28th 1998

* Genesis of geomagnetic storms - our Sun, solar minimum and solar maximum

* Sunspot variations - the eleven year solar cycle and relationship with sunspot activity

* Observing sunspots - safe observing, cheap and expensive solar filters and the projection method

* Sunspots and instability - sunspots and unstable magnetic fields - sources of solar flares

* Solar flares and their connection with CMEs

* CMEs

* Genesis of geomagnetic storms - the Earth-Sun connection and auroral ovals

* Aurora colours explained

* Aurora seasons and the R-M effect

* KP Index

* Geomagnetic storm scale (G scale)

* Observing the Aurora - basic tips

* Aurora structures - band, rays, patches, coronae and their visual appearance and motion from personal experience

* Naked eye vs camera Aurora colours

* Aurora vs moonlight - pros and cons, when to look and when not to look

* Aurora photography

* Geoeffective sunspot groups

* Aurora forecasting - trigger mechanisms, coronal holes, solar wind streams, filament eruptions and CIR regions

* Aurora forecasting - CME orientation using SOHO coronagraphs and Auroral Oval

* Online Aurora forecasting resources - websites and social media pages

* Importance of the Bz component

* Clear sky forecasting advice and resources

* Solar cycle 25 update

* Aurora image slide show

This is a short sample video to give you an idea of what to expect, the full video is over 1 hour 13 minutes in duration and covers so much more than what's shown here. The talk is filmed using a locked off camera at the back of the room, I have included a selection of the actual images/tiles used in the presentation for additional clarity, this way you can pause on the tile of interest for your own scrutiny then continue listening to my words. The talk ends with a short slide show to music showcasing a selection of my own aurora images with location and G-scale rating for each scene. The full video is 1080p HD and available to watch via youtube only.

Interested in watching? - email me at martinastro2005@hotmail.co.uk. I accept payments via paypal or bank transfer. Once payment has been received I will link you up to the full version. Thanks very much for your support and I hope you enjoy the talk.



Martin McKenna

Sky Events Now

Observing Sessions

Storm Chasing