November 18th 2009, Luton Airport

The pre-flight presentations were held at the Ramada Hotel, Hemel Hempstead. 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 starting to look promising with a disturbance from the Sun starting to take effect. 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. Auroral activity was spotted on the northern part of the flight and this was a good indicator of things to come. The auroral glow was quite evident and showed banded structure from quite early on. A number of rays also appeared later during the flight and these were nicely captured in photographs. Pete attempted to photograph the aurora and a number of the images taken on the Luton flight are shown below.




Image ref: W09_7027 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_7034 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_7036 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_7040 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_7043 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_7049 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_7052 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_7108 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.