November 16th 2009, Manchester Airport

The pre-flight presentations were held within the Radisson SAS Hotel, Manchester 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 similar to previous evenings with the Sun's activity remaining low but starting to climb. The vertical component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), known as Bz had been fluctuating 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. Although auroral activity was fairly low on this flight, an excellent push north by the flight crew afforded us with a view of the Northern Lights. The auroral glow was very evident with structured bands forming within it. Demonstrable changes in its shape were also noted throughout the flight. Pete attempted to photograph the aurora and a number of the images taken on the Manchester flight are shown below.




Image ref: W09_6933 by Pete Lawrence
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Image ref: W09_6937 by Pete Lawrence
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Image ref: W09_6944 by Pete Lawrence
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Image ref: W09_6945 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_6946 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_6949 by Pete Lawrence
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Image ref: W09_6959 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_6961 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_6964 by Pete Lawrence
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Image ref: W09_6966 by Pete Lawrence
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Image ref: W09_6970 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_6973 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.