The pre-flight presentations were held in the Holiday Inn Hotel next to
Glasgow Airport. Nigel Bradbury provided a 30 minute talk on the stars
and constellations that would be visible during the flight whilst Paul
Money explained the connections between the Sun and the Aurora. Jayne
Eames was the Roving Astronomer for this flight.
The activity predictions for the night were average. The vertical
component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), known as Bz, had
fluctuated between North and South all afternoon prior to the flight
making a prediction difficult at best so a 50/50 forecast was given. If
Bz points south, the IMF and Earth's magnetic field can connect and
auroral displays are more likely to occur. If Bz is north, the fields
oppose one another and the aurora tends to be quiet.
Exceptional weather conditions all week meant that unusually after take
off we found a large number of windows had frosted or hazed over. Jayne
Eames acting as the onboard astronomical rover on this occasion,
assisted any passengers who weren't sure what was being described and
tried to help those with poor windows. For those with good windows
Nigel Bradbury and Paul Money provided a commentary on what could be
seen in terms of the stars, constellations and auroral activity outside
the plane. The Aurora was dim on this occasion despite the Cockpit
flight crews excellent efforts at getting us up to 65 deg North and
sadly no photo's were obtained of it for this flight.