Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Benhall: Stargazer captures rare Northern Lights images

17:10 28 February 2014

The Northern Lights captured by Richard Ayres of Mollett

The Northern Lights captured by Richard Ayres of Mollett's Farm in Benhall near Saxmundham.

Archant

A stargazer from Suffolk has captured rare images of the Northern Lights after a surge in solar activity made the phenomenon visible far beyond its normal confines of the Arctic Circle.

Richard Ayres, of Mollett’s Farm, Benhall, near Saxmundham, was alerted to the “Aurora-frenzy” over social media on Thursday night as the ethereal illuminations made their seldom seen appearance over the British Isles.

“I started to see people commenting on Twitter that it was not just being seen in Scotland but also in northern England, Lincolnshire, then when someone said it was in Norfolk and I thought ‘gosh, we really might have a chance to see it’.

“We could see the sky take on this rich, vivid red with these green streaks and although I’m sure it was not the same as the sights in Scandinavia and the Arctic, it was still something pretty special.”

Mr Ayres, who watched the spectacle with his wife Sasha and their eight-year-old daughter Maddy, believes the low levels of light pollution in Benhall made it possible to see what eluded so many elsewhere in the county.

The aurora are most commonly seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres but their appearance over the skies of Britain are a far rarer event, occurring only two or three times a year.

Scientists say that a huge solar event, known as a “coronal mass ejection”, that took place last week was responsible for the lights being visible in places as far south as Gloucestershire and Essex.

“When the sun has a major geomagnetic event, the flux of particles is so high that they can penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere at lower latitudes, which is why in England it is only after these storms that we can see the lights,” said Professor Mike Kosch, of the University of Lancaster.

“The sun has its own magnetic field and sometimes it undergoes a major perturbation for reasons that we don’t entirely know.

“The corona of the sun is highly charged and at a very high temperature releases charged particles, which we call coronal mass ejections.”

1 comment

  • Yes. Saw them at midnight last night. Amazing

    Report this comment

    John Alborough

    Friday, February 28, 2014

Felixstowe Carnival on Saturday afternoon, floats and entertainment
21/6/2016

Dazzling parade floats kicked off this year’s Felixstowe Carnival yesterday – and crowds are continuing to flock to the seaside event in today’s sunshine.

The Summer of Pubs trails 2016

More than 100 pubs in Suffolk and Essex are celebrated in a series of new trails to encourage residents and visitors alike to visit different parts of both counties.

The One Community Cup took place at Goals Soccer Centre, based near Suffolk New College. Photo: Inspire Suffolk.

A football tournament has been praised for bringing together people from different cultures and backgrounds in a celebration of sport.

A tractor broke down just after the Orwell Bridge.

A tractor has broken down on the A14 in Nacton just after the Orwell Bridge.

Dementia friendly pub, the Hadleigh Ram

A Hadleigh pub has been rewarded for its efforts to become accessible to all by being named the first dementia friendly restaurant in the town.

George Blagden in Versailles as  Louis XIV  (C) Canal +

He is television’s latest heart-throb, playing a starring role in the BBC’s steamy drama series Versailles.

Eastbound A14 traffic near the Copdock junction. Image: Keith Mindham

Drivers are currently experiencing long delays after a car crashed into the central reservation on the A14 eastbound at Nacton this evening.

Suffolk Police PCSOs (stock picture)

Two new PCSOs will be patrolling the streets of Bury St Edmunds from next January in a new step for local policing.

File picture of a car fire.

Firefighters were called to reports of three cars alight at a garage in Ipswich.

Andy Beckwith

A former Essex man who went missing in Gibraltar has been found “in good health”, police have said.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24