March 6th 2008, Manchester

Pre-flight presentations were held at the Village Hotel and Leisure Club, Cheadle. Pete Lawrence provided a 30 minute talk on the stars and constellations that would be visible during the flight while Dr Jim Wild described the origin and appearance of the aurora.

At this time there was plenty of activity coming from the Sun to produce an aurora and the vertical component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), Bz, was pointing south. If Bz is south, the IMF and Earth's magnetic field can connect to produce auroral displays. If north, the fields oppose one another and the aurora is quiet.

Activity was fairly moderate on this flight with a bright region of aurora visible soon after take-off. During the flight Pete Lawrence and Nigel Bradbury provided a commentary on the stars and constellations visible outside the plane windows while Jim Wild acted as the roving astronomer, assisting passengers down the cabin.

A reasonable set of photographs were taken which are shown below. Some nice structure was seen during this flight, including pulses, vertical rays and arcs.