March 17th 2010, Leeds Bradford Airport

The pre-flight presentations were held at Benton Park School. Nigel Bradbury provided a 30 minute talk on the stars and constellations that would be visible during the flight followed by Pete Lawrence explaining the connections between the Sun and the Aurora.

The activity predictions for tonight were reasonably good. The effects of a coronal mass ejection (CME) coming from the Sun were expected to hit the Earth's magnetic field around the time of the flight. The vertical component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), known as Bz, had been north for most of the day. If Bz is north, the fields oppose one another and the aurora tends to be quiet. If Bz points south, the IMF and Earth's magnetic field can connect and auroral displays are more likely to occur. Just prior to departure, Bz did start to turn south.

As usual during the flight, the stars looked beautifully crisp and clear. 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 acted as the onboard astronomical rover on this occasion, assisting any passengers who weren't sure what was being described.

The aurora was seen reasonably early on - a positive sign. Although there are never any guarantees with the aurora, on this occasion, a good display was seen. Lots of bright pulses, rays and curtains were seen, making this a superb way to end the 2009/10 Northern Lights Flight season.

Pete and Paul attempted to photograph the aurora and a number of the images taken on the Leeds-Bradford flight are shown below.


Image ref: S10_LBA3335 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3352 by Pete Lawrence
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Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3390 by Pete Lawrence
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Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3388 by Pete Lawrence
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Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3380 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3376 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3375 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3374 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3373 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
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Image ref: S10_LBA3370 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3367 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.




Image ref: S10_LBA3354 by Pete Lawrence
You may download (right click and save as) 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.
Please allow up to 28 days for delivery.