March 7th 2008, Birmingham

Pre-flight presentations were held at the Windmill Hotel, Allesley, Coventry. Nigel Bradbury provided a 30 minute talk on the stars and constellations that would be visible during the flight while Pete Lawrence 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 fluctuating between north and 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 reasonable but lacking dynamic structural changes on this flight. During the flight Pete Lawrence and Nigel Bradbury provided a commentary on the stars and constellations visible outside the plane windows while Paul Money acted as the roving astronomer, assisting passengers down the cabin.

A number of photographs were taken by Paul and Pete which are shown below. There was a lot of turning during the auroral viewing stages of this flight and this is what has caused the stars to trail in a number of the photos.











Image: Paul Money


Image: Paul Money


Image: Paul Money