March 23rd 2011, East MIdlands Airport

The pre-flight presentations for tonight's flight were held in the departure lounge of East Midlands Airport.

After an introduction from Omega's Peter Truman, Paul Money proceeded in giving a presentation on the stars and constellations which would be visible during the flight. This was then followed by Pete Lawrence who gave a talk on the Northern Lights.
A forecast was given at the end of Pete's talk. We were under the influence of a large coronal hole for this flight so expectations were cautiously optimistic.

As we flew closer to the auroral oval in a superbly dark cabin, it was clear that there was a glow on the horizon. As we approached station, the glow remained but, much failed to show much activity. This situation unfortunately remained throughout the time we were on station. In the event it looked like although there was plenty of material coming from the Sun to kick off a decent display of aurora, the magnetic field embedded within this material was of the wrong polarity to allow it to make a good connection with Earth's magnetic field. This kept the display rather subdued.

Pete and Nigel Bradbury gave a running commentary throughout the flight on what stars, constellations and planets could be seen outside the aircraft and as usual, these were quite stunning, especially the 'summer' Milky Way stretching up across the northern sky.

Pete tried to get some photographs of the aurora and the best of these are shown below. Please note that the extreme light levels and high sensitivity of the camera required taking these shots means that sometimes ordered prints may vary in appearance slightly to that seen on a computer monitor.


Image ref: S11_EMA_20110323_9022 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: S11_EMA_20110323_9033 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: S11_EMA_20110323_9036 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: S11_EMA_20110323_9050 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: S11_EMA_20110323_9054 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: S11_EMA_20110323_9106 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: S11_EMA_20110323_9178 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.