November 13th 2009, Birmingham International Airport

The pre-flight presentations were held within the Ramada Hotel in Solihull. Nigel Bradbury 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, being similar to those given for the previous evenings flight. Unfortunately, unlike the previous evening, the auroral oval had shrunk back to a minimal size for tonight's flight and the aurora that was seen was fairly weak. 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.

As usual, the stars looked beautifully crisp and clear and during the flight Nigel Bradbury and Pete Lawrence provided an enthusiastic commentary on what could be seen in terms of the stars, constellations and auroral activity outside the plane. Paul Money wandered down the aisle assisting passengers and answering any questions. Pete also attempted to photograph the aurora and a few of the images taken on the Birmingham flight are shown below.




Image ref: W09_BHX6856 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_BHX6862 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_BHX6866 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.