Beautiful images of ‘Northern Lights’ over Thanet

Aurora Borealis over Thanet Rebecca Douglas Photography

Fabulous photos of the aurora borealis – Northern Lights – over have been taken by Thanet photographer Rebecca Douglas at spots across the isle.

The 38-year-old, who lives in Ramsgate with husband Mark and their three cats Solar, Cosmos and Magnus, captured the phenomenon at Minnis Bay, Epple Bay, Westbrook Bay, Walpole Bay and Joss Bay last night (November 5).

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.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

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.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

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.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

‘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.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

Rebecca’s aurora imagery and citizen science writing has been featured in National Geographic, Ernest Journal & Iceland Monitor.

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.

She said: “I had always dreamed of the day a display like this visited Thanet skies. I knew it was technically possible and my Grandad told me stories of when he was a kid and he’d see it all the time in the war when the lights were off.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

“But I don’t think I was ready for how much we could see last night. It was absolutely overpowering dusk, the sky full west to east and as the show unfolded the show was almost overhead here.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

“There was an incredible sub auroral arc and STEVE made a visit too. STEVE -Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement – so there are some things I’ve shot in these images that are not ‘aurora’ and STEVE tends to visit on nights of really intense activity and is really rare in the UK.

Rebecca Douglas Photography

“I couldn’t believe it wasn’t even 7pm when I looked at my watch, with most of the images being captured before 7pm.

“There was another big drop around 7.30pm and again at 10pm and then several more bursts of activity.

“We could see so much by eye and had such a fun night with friends joining us for parts of the chase.”

Rebecca Douglas Photography

Rebecca was not the only one to venture out in a bid to catch the Aurora Borealis on camera. Wildlife enthusiast Nik Mitchell caught the scene at Reculver and Ramsgate photographer Steven Collis captured the skies at Botany Bay.

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If you’re interested in finding out more about how to see and shoot the aurora, Rebecca has  written a guide: https://rebeccadouglas.co.uk/aurora-borealis-photography/

A curated selection of the images are available in her Print Shop – 10% goes to Marine Conservation Society: https://printshop.rebeccadouglas.co.uk/art/rememberrememberthe5thnovaurorathanet

Northern Lights information source Met Office

11 Comments

  1. Aurora Borealis.. at this time of year? In this part of the country? Localized entirely over Thanet?!

    Can I see it?

  2. Only time I have seen them [not in Thanet] they were a uniform green colour caused by ionised oxygen. The various colours are caused by different elements in the atmosphere being ionised.

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