Fabulous photos of the aurora borealis – Northern Lights – over Botany Bay at just after midnight (March 23/24) have been captured by Thanet photographer Rebecca Douglas.
The 38-year-old, who lives in Ramsgate with husband Mark and their three cats Solar, Cosmos and Magnus, says she received the alert that the skies had cleared and the aurora may be visible and so went out to capture it.
She said: “Alerts came through about midnight and I realised that the skies had cleared after all the rain and so in a flash, I was out of the door and the aurora chase was on.
“I could actually see the green arc and the rays with my eye, I always wondered if it would be something that would be an in-camera only experience or one that you could possibly make out…..it is utterly mind-blowing to have seen them this far south. And that is the rare thing about (it).
“It was active all the way before first light of dawn cracked across the sky and ended the show!”
‘Aurora chasing’ is a specialism for Rebecca who has travelled to Iceland many times as well as capturing it in Scotland, Sweden, The Faroe Islands, Canada and Lofoten in the Arctic Circle of Norway.
Her aurora imagery and citizen science writing has been featured in National Geographic, Ernest Journal & Iceland Monitor.
Rebecca, who studied at the University of Sheffield and worked in recruitment and then as an employability advisor in higher education, moved into teaching photography before launching her business full-time in 2010.
She concentrates mainly on lifestyle and brand work as well as being an experienced Arctic and Sub-Arctic traveller to capture visual stories across Iceland and Norway.
Rebecca added: “If we have a window to the sky plus space weather willing, there is a strong chance of a similar night tonight!”
For a guide on how to see and shoot the aurora head to https://rebeccadouglas.co.uk/aurora-borealis-photography/
The images can also be found on Rebecca’s print shop at https://printshop.rebeccadouglas.co.uk/art/botanybayaurora
The northern lights (also known as aurora borealis) appear as large areas of colour including pale green, pink, shades of red, yellow, blue and violet in the direction due north.
During a weak aurora, the colours are very faint and spread out whereas an intense aurora features greater numbers of and brighter colours which can be seen higher in the sky with a distinct arc. The northern lights are best seen in darkness, away from any light pollution. The lights generally extend from 50 miles to as high as 400 miles above the Earth’s surface.
The northern lights occur as a consequence of solar activity and result from collisions of charged particles in the solar wind colliding with molecules in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
Source Met Office