Initial presentation was held at the Marriott Hotel in Speke where Nigel Bradbury introduced the constellations and Pete Lawrence explained the origin of the aurora and revealed that the forecast conditions were low to average.
Despite these predictions, the actual display was quite bright and easy to make out. The auroral arc stretched across the entire northern horizon with patches brightening and fading in real time as the plane carried out its race track holding pattern at around latitude +60.5N. At times, curtain structures could be seen showing faint vertical lines. Photography revealed the bottom of the aurora to be characteristically green but topped with a maroon-red layer which was not visible to the naked eye.
The stars and constellations were as dramatic as ever with mighty Orion striding majestically across the winter night sky. On the opposite of the horizon, the Northern Cross asterism, part of Cygnus the Swan, dramatically marked the location of a bright Milky Way heading down towards the north western horizon.