Aurora Display 10th May 2024

A very special night for Northern Lights watchers. In 2016 I went all the way to Iceland to try to see the Northern Lights. Sadly it wasn’t to be. Last night was therefore very special. Northumberland in the UK is blessed with some of the darkest skies, so was ideal for viewing. There were reports coming in of an intense Solar Storm and all indications were it was going to be good. Skies were clear. The forecasts said several pulses were heading to Earth and it was to be a direct hit! So we waited for darkness and went outside. What we saw was absolutely awesome. The most stupendous display unfolded before us. At first, the sky just looked strange. It looked like cirrus cloud, but through a camera it took on a different dimension. We took lots of photos (surprise, surprise). Here are a selection. My camera isn’t as good as Debs’, so mine are more blurry, but it still captured the colours of the display. The sky was full, from horizon to zenith. All directions, not just the Northern one. Usually you look North, but with this display it didn’t matter. The aurora was in every direction! Greens, …

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What is Ball Lightning?

Ball Lightning

What is Ball Lightning? Ball lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon that is characterized by the appearance of a luminous, spherical object that moves through the air. The exact nature and cause of ball lightning is not well understood, and it is considered one of the least studied and most enigmatic meteorological phenomena. Some theories suggest that ball lightning is created by an electrical discharge in the atmosphere, while others propose that it is a plasma formation that is sustained by an unknown energy source. Despite numerous reports of ball lightning sightings, the phenomenon remains poorly understood and is the subject of ongoing scientific investigation. Can Ball Lightning kill you? Ball lightning has been reported to cause injury and death in some cases, but the occurrence of such incidents is relatively rare. Ball lightning is generally considered to be a relatively weak form of lightning, and it is thought that its ability to cause harm may depend on various factors such as its size, intensity, and proximity to people. However, due to the unpredictable and poorly understood nature of ball lightning, it is difficult to predict when it might pose a danger to people. If you encounter ball lightning, it is …

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5 Weird Weather Phenomena that raise the eyebrows

willy willy dust devil

In this video we take a look at the science behind 5 of the weirdest weather phenomena. Willy willy Also known as dust devils, Willy willys are whirlwinds that can reach over 1000 feet in height. It is the dust and debris that get caught within them that makes them visible. They mainly occur in desert and semi-arid areas, where the ground is dry and high surface temperatures produce strong updrafts. In Navajo culture, willy-willy were thought to be the ghosts or spirits of the dead Brocken spectre A Brocken spectre is the large magnified shadow of an observer, cast onto clouds or mist. They are most often seen on mountain tops, when a person stands above cloud level. They can create the illusion of a giant shadowy figure seen dimly through the mist. Shifting water droplets in the cloud or mist can also make the shadow appear to move. Often the spectre will be combined with a circular ‘glory’, appearing as a rainbow halo around the shadow’s head. Lenticular clouds Usually formed behind hills or mountains, where the air is stable and winds at different heights are blowing from a similar direction. The wind is interrupted, the airflow undulates …

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