Auroras and igloos

I saw my first aurora a few nights ago when I was attempting a Dobson observation using the light of the moon. As I was trying to eliminate the light sources in upper obs I spotted a faint glow to the south that I couldn’t get rid of. As soon as I thought it might be an aurora I grabbed my kit and ran outside. Once confirmed I headed back to alert the others. There was a hustle and bustle as everyone reached for their cameras, tripods and various other bits of kit to get a good glimpse and a good shot of it. It wasn’t a strong aurora so most people turned in after a while. A few of us stayed and wondered at it a bit longer, using the balloon launching shed BART to the south of the modules to warm up in.

The next night some of us were out looking at the magnificent starscape above us with the Milky Way and several other galaxies visible to the naked eye and this even with a crescent moon lighting up the sky.

A while back we had started building an igloo and finally, over the last week or two it’s been completed. A few days after the first aurora we made some finishing touches to the igloo like making a flat table in the centre and adding candles and lambskins to make it cosier. Last night we finally had our ice bar in the igloo drinking from glasses made of ice. We all enjoyed sitting in the igloo and having a laugh, but what made the evening so special was the most spectacular aurora display outside. It ebbed and flowed across the sky shimmering green and red above us with the modules lit up in the background and the last light of dusk on the western horizon. We all watched in awe as this beautiful event unfolded. It was fantastic to be able to share this experience with the whole team. Truly a night to be remembered.

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