Sunday 12 May 2024

Red and yellow and pink and green... the aurora borealis from Skomer

We were amongst many people on Friday night to witness the spectacle of the aurora borealis. A consequence of an extreme solar storm, it lit up the skies above the island in vivid, dazzling hues ranging from deep pink to violet to bright green. 

Green and purple shafts of light coming from the sky
Northern Lights over St Brides Bay

A mostly green sky lit with areas of pink
Shafts of light

Phones were called (thank you Leighton!), doors were knocked upon, sleeping people were roused. In various states of drowsiness and excitement, we spilled out into the night to enjoy the Northern Lights as they danced across the sky.

Two figures silhouetted against the northern lights

A single figure silhouetted against the northern lights
The Aurora!

Pictures express more than words - and fortunately, Leighton captured a few shots of the spectacle.

A green, indigo and pink sky
Good sky you've got here

By and large, it was rather too bright for the shearwaters - but to hear their grumbling chorus underground and see the odd Manxie silhouetted against the shifting colours made it all the more unforgettable.

A green, pink and blue sky over St Brides Bay
None of us had ever seen anything to compare with it - perhaps a dim green glow on the horizon, but never these vivid colours moving and changing with every moment. Perhaps you only see this once in a lifetime. 

But perhaps not... the storm is set to continue tonight, so we'll be looking up!

- Ceris, Assistant Warden

Photographs © Skomer Warden

Green, blue and pink shafts of light over St Brides Bay

A deep indigo sky with high shafts of pink and green light coming from the sky
Sea and sky

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