Aurora Over Scotland Thanks To Randy Bresnik on Twitter!

A Brilliant Aurora App!

Iceland
Image By Moyan Bren, Iceland

I follow various Aurora groups and pages on facebook, so this is just a quick post to share this brilliant App with you.
I found it in the AUK-Aurora UK Group.
But the actual APP is from The Glendale Isle Of Skye Website.

It is totally free to download and quick and easy to embed into your website

The Glendale Skye Aurora Alerts App is the UK’s only 100% accurate aurora alert app that has been designed by an aurora-hunter for aurora-hunters.

You won’t find the unreliable Kp or ovation model data anywhere on this app.
 It is powered entirely by the most accurate data feeds that are used by expert aurora-hunters in the UK.
Totally free of charge.
Optimised to work in remote areas where mobile signal is extremely weak.
It will run quite happily over 2G in remote parts of Scotland.
Minimal bandwidth usage.
Minimal space on your phone.
To reduce data usage, all graphs are load-on-demand and only refresh while you are using them.
Also, works in Chrome Browser on any Desktop PC or Laptop.

Read more and get the APP Here


I have added the APP to this site on the top right hand corner.
Brilliant, thank you Glendale Isle Of Skye, great widget!

Meteor Showers 2016

Tarbert 27th Jan

Firstly, apologies for the delay, we have missed the Quadrantids at the start of January.
If you follow the facebook page you’ll know that I’ve been getting excited about the beautiful mornings line up that we have been spoilt with (in between crazy weather).
If you are a morning person and are blessed with clear skies, look out before/during sunrise to the SE, S, SW and West from the horizon up, Mercury, Venus, Saturn Mars and Jupiter have been visible, unfortunately the weather was not on our side most mornings, but I managed to see them a few times.

Fireballs!
Around the Spring Equinox  we now have a fireball season, unpredictable but a regular occurrence so keep your eyes peeled in the weeks just before and after the 20th March!

Towards the end of April is the Lyrid Meteor Shower, from around the 16th to the 25th April, with a bright moon though we may not be able to see as many as usual, look NE after around 10pm.
The Lyrids quite often leave trails and has surges of around 100 meteors an hour, so it’s well worth looking out for.

Stargazing For Beginners

Between May the 5th-7th, if you are an early bird and up before the crack of dawn, look out for the Eta Aquarids, again, we are possibly too far North to see many.

August brings us the Perseids, probably one of the best/easiest meteor showers to view on a clear night.
The nights are warmer too, so it’s a perfect introduction for younger members of the family.
It builds up through August and peaks around the 10th to 13th.
They radiate from the constellation Perseus, however, you don’t need to be an expert on constellations, just allow your eyes to adjust to the dark and gaze into the sky, before long you will spot any movement.
Perseids can often give a spectacular display, so if the weather is on your side make the most of it!

October gives us the Draconids in Draco, the Dragon Constellation, it has the potential to be another spectacular show!

The Draconids is another meteor shower that is best watched early evening, making it another one ideal to look out for if you have young children.
The Draconid showers radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness falls, so unlike many meteor showers, more Draconids are likely to fly in the evening hours than in the morning hours after midnight.
This shower is usually a sleeper, producing only a handful of  meteors per hour most years. But watch out if the Dragon awakes!   Draco has been known to show many hundreds of meteors in a single hour!

Around the 21st to 22nd October is the Orionids, another one for early risers as you are most likely to see these just before dawn.
However, often you can see meteors various times of the night, if you are out and about it is always worth taking some time to just look up, you could be surprised!

The Taurid Meteor showers last a long time, but I have just put their peak dates on our Public Calendar.
The South Taurids spread out from the 25th September right through to the 25th November, so you could see them anytime, but the peak for the South taurids is the 4th to the 5th November.

The North Taurids spread out from around October the 12th to December the 2nd, but the peak time for viewing these is between the 11th and 12th November.

3D Astronomer 

The Taurids radiate from Taurus, the bull and are best seen around midnight when Taurus is high in the sky.

In November, the Leonids peak around the 17th November, the best time to see them is just before dawn, although they are often seen during the evenings and late night.

The  Leonid meteor shower happens every year at this time, as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle.
Tempel-Tuttle litters its orbit with bits of debris. It’s when this cometary debris enters Earth’s atmosphere, and vaporizes, that we see the Leonid meteor shower.

Around the 13th December, the Geminid meteor shower peaks.
The best time to see this is around 2am, although you are likely to see many before then.
This year though the full Moon may prevent us seeing as many as usual, but it is still well worth staying up for!

You don’t need expensive equipment to enjoy these stunning displays, the meteors are easily visible with the naked eye, and some can be spectacular!
You just need some patience, dark clear skies and to wrap up warm!
For the ultimate luxury, spoil yourself to a luxury camp bed and lay back, relax and enjoy the display!

 If you want to meet other astronomers and learn more about all our dark skies have to offer here on the West Coast, take a look at West Kintyre Stargazers who organise group talks, events and advice.

Meteor Showers 2015

Click image for full size

There is not much of the year left but there is still plenty to look out for in the crisp winter skies.
I have added the remainder of the meteor showers this year to the Tarbert Calendar and am in the process of listing the whole year for 2016.

November brings the North and South Taurids.

The South Taurids can be seen from September 25 to November 25 but the peak is tonight, between midnight and dawn.
There have already been reports of fireballs seen from it this year so if the skies are clear near you it is well worth staying up for, remember to wrap up warm!

Just in case you miss it, here is one in Bangkok on 2/11/15 (apologies for the funky music)

The  North Taurids Meteor Shower is another long running one, it runs from October 12 –to December 2 but peaks this month between 12th and 13th.
Most can be seen  around midnight, when Taurus is highest in the sky.
Taurid meteors tend to be slow-moving, but sometimes very bright.

The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks ate night November 17 until dawn November 18, the best time to see them is just before dawn.
Look for the planet Jupiter near the Leonids’ radiant point.

Image From Earthsky.org

If you are up early Friday morning 6th November, look out for the Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter.
See the snap from my Sky Guide App for timing and positioning.

Sky Guide

The Geminids, December
The meteors will appear every night for two weeks, from 4 till 17 December.this year we should see a particularly dramatic display.
The shower reaches its peak on 13 and 14 December, when there will be no Moon allowing even the faintest shooting stars to stand out against the night sky.
Geminids produce over 100 meteors per hour at their peak which are slow and bright.
The great thing about Geminids is if you have clear dark skies and a little patience, you will see shooting stars. The Geminids don’t originate from a comet they come from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.
 Meteors from this shower are very rocky and gritty and slightly easier to see compared to the other showers.

Mid to Late November Night Sky

Fireballs!!

Taurid Meteor Shower Early November

This is just a quick post to let you know if the skies are clear we are in for another celestial treat!
This is unlikely to be a very busy meteor shower but there is a possibility of seeing some rather spectacular fireballs, so even if you just catch one it’s sure to be memorable!
The South Taurid meteors can be seen around the 4th and 5th November while the North Taurid shower will be raining down the most meteors on the night of November 11-12.

The radiant point is Taurus although they can appear to come from any direction, as always, just look up!

Find more detailed information here.
Also keep an eye on the solar storms and Aurora predictions as it is possible we could be spoilt with another dazzling display.

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Coronal hole faces Earth
Don’t think we really need to warn for this as most of you seem to be very enthusiastic about this but just a heads up for those who haven’t heard it:

A coronal hole solar wind stream is expected to arrive here on Earth in the next 12 to 36 hours. A moderate G2 geomagnetic storm is expected once the solar wind stream arrives, and the NOAA SWPC even has a warning in place for possible strong G3 geomagnetic storming conditions.

A minor disturbance in the solar wind was observed in the past few hours but we think this was caused by a solar sector boundary crossing (phi angle shifted) and this means the solar wind stream likely has yet to arrive.

Follow it live on www.spaceweatherlive.com

Video: 3 days worth of footage from SDO showing the coronal hole as it faced Earth.
Posted by SpaceWeatherLive on Monday, 2 November 2015

Aurora Dances Over Tarbert

Tarbert Harbour Photo by Terry Cawthorne

This is just a quick post to show some of the photos that are coming up on facebook this morning.

Yesterday I posted on the Visit Tarbert Facebook Page some links to Aurora Alerts.
I can’t believe I missed it!
The Aurora Borealis danced over the skies of Scotland.

A massive thank you to Terry Cawthorne who posted these photos in the All Things Tarbert Facebook Group for letting me share these photos from Tarbert Harbour.

If you have any photos you have captured of the Aurora over Kintyre please share them on our Facebook Page and if you are happy for me to do so I will add them to this site.

If you missed it this time, bookmark this website for alerts, you can customise it to your area.
Hopefully it may still be active tonight, wrap up warm and get your cameras ready!

Tarbert Harbour Photo By Terry Cawthorne

Total Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon 28 September Super Moon

Thanks To Meteorwatch For The Image

Get your cameras at the ready!

Wherever you are in Scotland you should get a good view of the Lunar Eclipse.
In fact it should be visible to anyone in the Atlantic regions of the planet including the North and South America, Africa, UK and Western Europe.
I’ve added the date and details to Our Tarbert Calendar! Make sure you add it to yours.

This is an extra special date as we have three events on one night giving us the magnificent effect of a huge red moon thanks to  a full moon, the lunar eclipse,
in which the Earth blocks the sun’s light from hitting the moon,  and lunar perigee, when the moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth.
You don’t need any specialist equipment to observe this spectacular moon, but a pair of binoculars or  Telescope will enable you to have a closer look at the details of the moons surface.

Not a red moon or an eclipse, just a random photo from last year, I love the moon on the water

Living in Tarbert we have the added advantage of the scenery and the potential to capture reflections on the loch (given clear skies and calm waters, oh please let us have clear skies and calm waters)
But that said, sometimes a little cloud just adds to the effect.
You may have read online, or in some news papers that a blood moon signifies the end of the world.
The coming of Christ and a whole host of dramatic and wonderful things.
Last year on the 22 February Norse mythology stated the world will end;

Ragnarok, the final mystical battle on earth, was to begin on February 22  Legend had it that Norse gods including Thor and Loki will battle to the death after Earth splits open and unleashes the inhabitants of hell. 

The God Odin, who is ruler of Asgard, will be killed by the wolf Fenrir and the other ‘creator’ Gods will die. 

Viking lore has it that the globe will then fall into the sea and life on the planet will cease to exist. 

Same night a couple of hours later

Thankfully we are all still here, I’ve lost count of the many worlds ends I’ve managed to get through so far.
I love Astronomy so it always tickles me when I hear these tales of doom.
Forget the doom and gloom, wrap up warm and get outside, wherever you are the moon should be quite spectacular, so get your camera and get snapping!
I would really love it if you shared your Blood Moon Pics On Our Facebook Page.

If we get a good response I will share them on this blog.
I just found this Online Guide with tips on how to photograph the eclipse.