November 12th 2009, East Midlands Airport

The pre-flight presentations were held within the departure lounge at East Midlands Airport. Paul Money provided a 30 minute talk on the stars and constellations that would be visible during the flight whilst Pete Lawrence explained the connections between the Sun and the Aurora.

The activity predictions for tonight were fairly poor. The vertical component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), known as Bz had been fluctuating around the zero point all day. If Bz points south, the IMF and Earth's magnetic field can connect and auroral displays are likely to occur. If Bz is north, the fields oppose one another and the aurora tends to be quiet.

Almost once the cabin was placed into darkness it was apparent there was a bright band visible on the north-western horizon. As the flight progressed and we moved closer to the oval we were delighted to witness a reasonably bright display with plenty of slow moving structure - a great start to the winter season. During the flight Nigel Bradbury and Pete Lawrence provided an enthusiastic commentary on the stars, constellations and auroral activity visible outside the plane windows while Paul Money wandered down the aisle assisting passengers and answering any questions. Pete also attempted to photograph the aurora and some these images are shown below.




Image ref: W09_EMA6829 by Pete Lawrence
You may download this image for any non-commercial purpose. If you'd like a 12"x8" photographic print of it (7.00+ p&p) please click the button below.



Image ref: W09_EMA6830 by Pete Lawrence
You may download this image for any non-commercial purpose. If you'd like a 12"x8" photographic print of it (7.00+ p&p) please click the button below.



Image ref: W09_EMA6834 by Pete Lawrence
You may download this image for any non-commercial purpose. If you'd like a 12"x8" photographic print of it (7.00+ p&p) please click the button below.



Image ref: W09_EMA6841 by Pete Lawrence
You may download this image for any non-commercial purpose. If you'd like a 12"x8" photographic print of it (7.00+ p&p) please click the button below.



Image ref: W09_EMA6843 by Pete Lawrence
You may download this image for any non-commercial purpose. If you'd like a 12"x8" photographic print of it (7.00+ p&p) please click the button below.



Image ref: W09_EMA6848 by Pete Lawrence
You may download this image for any non-commercial purpose. If you'd like a 12"x8" photographic print of it (7.00+ p&p) please click the button below.