On the (6/11/2023) I was blessed to witness the sky light up, no it was not from the fireworks, but the Northern Lights or Aroura. I went out just after 6pm and went straight to the harbour to see if it was starting. After a few pictures it was there, so I jumped into my van and speed along the seafront to Bamburgh, where I drove down to a place called Stag Rock. I don’t think I will be going there again as it was a bit busy, but that’s another story.

Anyway, It was a mild evening, and my excitement was building as I ventured out to Stag Rock, a place renowned for its unobstructed views of the night sky.
As I stood there, my gaze fixed upon the heavens, the skies suddenly came alive. The aurora borealis danced, painting the night canvas with vivid hues of green and red. It was a surreal spectacle, as if the very cosmos had come to life, twirling and pirouetting in a cosmic ballet.

As I marvelled at the aurora’s ethereal beauty, my eyes caught a strange white streak across the sky, like a cosmic zipper. I couldn’t help but wonder what it was, but I was too engrossed in the aurora to dwell on it further. Little did I know that this enigma would become the centerpiece of my adventure.
While lost in the celestial show, the tides crept in, filling my boots with icy seawater. It was a stark reminder of the harsh reality of nature. To add to the challenges, my tripod met an untimely demise – one of its legs snapped, leaving me grappling with the challenge of capturing this incredible scene
With a broken tripod, I had to get creative. I perched myself in the dunes, steadying my camera as best as I could, and watched the sky unfold in all its glory. The unexpected turn of events had a silver lining – I was now in a perfect position to capture the magnificent display above.

As the night wore on, I found myself sitting in the dunes, in awe of the universe’s grandeur. The cold didn’t bother me, nor did the wet boots, for the sight before me was worth every discomfort.
With a smile on my face, I eventually made my way back to the van. The Northern Lights had left an indelible mark on my soul. The journey home was filled with gratitude for living in such a remarkable part of the world.

Back at my computer, I eagerly uploaded the photos I’d taken during my Stag Rock adventure. Each image was a testament to the wonders of the night sky. The Northern Lights, the breaking waves, the silhouette of Stag Rock, and even my improvised setup – they all told a story of a night that will stay with me forever.

As I sat there, scrolling through my photos, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly fortunate to call this enchanting place home. It’s a reminder that nature’s beauty is a gift, and adventures like this are the rewards for those who seek them. Stag Rock, the aurora borealis, and the mysterious white streak in the sky – they all came together to create an experience that words can barely capture.

In the end, it was a journey that unfolded with passion and serendipity. An adventure that reminds me, time and again, that our world is a treasure trove of wonders, waiting to be explored and celebrated.
As I sat at the computer I found out about the white stripe and I was blown away how rare it is and it was called “STEVE” funny.
The the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australia, have long held the spotlight in the realm of atmospheric displays, the STEVE aurora is a rare and relatively recently discovered addition to this cosmic theatre.

STEVE, which stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement, is not a traditional aurora in the sense of dancing curtains of colourful light that grace the polar skies. Instead, it is a slender, ribbon-like streak of light, often appearing as a mauve or lavender-coloured arc against the backdrop of the night sky. Unlike the traditional auroras that result from the interaction of charged particles from the sun with Earth’s magnetic field, STEVE is believed to be caused by a different mechanism.

This captivating spectacle was brought to the attention of scientists and amateur sky watchers alike through the power of community and citizen science. Initially thought to be a rare occurrence, STEVE sightings were frequently reported over Canada and parts of the northern United States. It wasn’t long before scientists turned their attention to this mysterious phenomenon, eager to unravel its secrets.

Research on STEVE revealed that it is associated with a fast-moving stream of charged particles in Earth’s ionosphere. These particles, called subauroral ion drift (SAID), create a narrow ribbon of hot gas that can produce the distinctive mauve glow. The precise mechanisms behind the formation of STEVE are still under investigation, making it a subject of continued scientific interest.

One of the remarkable aspects of STEVE is that it often appears in conjunction with the traditional auroras. While the Northern and Southern Lights are more commonly seen at high latitudes, STEVE has been observed at lower latitudes, bringing this celestial wonder closer to a wider audience. In other words I was bloody lucky to witness something so special and something I will remember forever.

Anyway I hope you like the pictures and fingers crossed if you missed them, you will get a chance to see them sometime soon.

Thank you once again for reading our blog…….