Spectacular Northern Lights display

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

Photographers were out in force in Donegal on Sunday night to capture one of the most spectacular displays of the Northern Lights in recent memory and, if weather permits, an even more amazing sight might be seen tonight.

Photographers were out in force in Donegal on Sunday night to capture one of the most spectacular displays of the Northern Lights in recent memory and, if weather permits, an even more amazing sight might be seen tonight.

Kenneth McDonagh of Donegal Weather Channel explains. “The biggest solar storm since 2005 is set to peak tonight.

“Weather permitting, the Northern Lights should be visible over Donegal into Wednesday night.

“The solar storm can cause isolated reboots of computers onboard earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications. It is also can cause disruptions to airline flights.”

The phenomenon is dominating social networking sites and national media at the moment.

Kenneth says this has been reflected in the number of people following the Donegal Weather Channel facebook page.

“In the last month people from Donegal have followed my page and keep checkomg for updates each day on the northern lights.

“I also have a big following from other countries and states Italy, Scotland, England, Australia, and New Zealand and from America New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California and many others states and countries from around the world.

“The county of Donegal and surrounding counties have become fascinated with the lights. When you see them for yourself it is really out of this world.”

Adam Porter, chairperson of Buncrana Camera Club, took this stunning photo at Urris Pier near Clonmany. The street and house lights in the background are from Malin Head.

Adam, his wife Angela, and their three daughters set out from Buncrana at around 6.30pm on Sunday. They waited patiently at Urris “munching on chocolate Buttons and stargazing” as Adam put it, until the skies above were illuminated by an eerie green glow at around 8.30pm. Adam took a series of fantastic photos, his favourite of which is this one with the boat.

It was Adam’s third night out in a week chasing the elusive Aurora Borealis. He was at Mamore Gap last Saturday night and Malin Head last Thursday night. However the weather didn’t co-operate on either night and heavy cloud cover meant that there was nothing to be seen.

Adam also took some pictures of the Northern Lights last year and he says this year’s display was even more impressive. The FP rating last time was 3, whereas Sunday night it was 5. This means that the intensity of the lights was much greater than last year. It really was a breathtaking sight.”

Gerry Clarke, PRO of Buncrana Camera Club, was also out on Sunday night. He was at Malin Head, along with a number of other photographers, and also captured some remarkable images.

For more information on Buncrana Camera Club, which has more than 50 members and meets four times per month, visit www.buncranacameraclub.com.