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Massive Aurora over Ireland

Image taken by Donald Campbell, ISO400, 4 seconds exposure

One of the most powerful explosion from the sun has occured at 11:10am, Tuesday 28th October 2003. This X17 class flare hit the earth less than a day later and is causing fantastic aurora displays in latitudes as far south as Cork. Peak time was in the early hours of Thursday 30th October. After Wednesday midnight, the red, green and blue rays reached upwards of the zenith as vertical shafts of light filled the sky collminating in a corona at the zenith.

The increased solar activity is also having an effect on the International Space Station. Tuesday and Wednesday, the Expedition 8 crew of Commander Mike Foale and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri will spend brief periods of time in the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module, which is the location aboard the Station most shielded from higher levels of radiation.

The crew will spend about 20 minutes in Zvezda, twice on each orbit of the Earth for about three orbits, until the station phases out of the high radiation areas (high magnetic latitudes).

Dr. Alan Fitzimmons from the Queen's University Astrophysics Department took many good photos of the aurora.

Click here for a slideshow of all of our member's images including images from Les Gornall, John McFarland, Andy McCrea, James Adamson and Donald Campbell.

A BIG thankyou to Les and John for the images totalling well over one hundred !!!



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