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    The Aurora Borealis — a spectacular natural phenomenon that will change your outlook on the world forever...
The Aurora Borealis
I shall never look at the sky in the same way again...
Like many, I have always held a fascination and yearning to see the Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights) — a spectacular natural phenomenon created by the Solar Wind hitting the upper echelons of the Earth's atmosphere.

The night of my first sighting on 22nd January 2012 would change my outlook on the world forever.

Several months later, my spine still tingles whenever I think about my first sighting of the Aurora — you can read all about my experience in this blog post I wrote at the time.

I also collect pieces of Aurora paraphernalia, usually old prints and articles from the 1800s — I thought it might be good to gather my favourite photographs and other material into this Collection, which I'll no doubt add to over time...

Leave a comment if you've seen the Aurora Borealis or Australis — I'd love to hear of your experiences.

Looking north from the causeway on Holy Island — activity had been strongest while we were nearby on the A1 and, by this stage, the oval was already receding further north...
...but then came alive again, with huge pillars of light visible once more.
The last needle of light, stretching for kilometres high into the upper atmosphere.
The night sky is incredible in Northumberland.

Looking south on the same night, it's actually quite hard to make out Orion in the centre of this image as there are so many other stars visible around it.
'An Arctic Aurora' — a Chromalithograph from the 1800s.
Solar activity was strong in the mid-1800s, peaking with The Great Solar Storm of 1856.

During such activity, the Aurora Borealis can be visible much further south, as this illustration of 'The Aurora as seen from the pier at Boulogne' shows.

We're on course for activity of a similar strength over the coming months...!
An article on the Aurora in issue 110 of The Penny Magazine, 21st December 1833.
There are many videos of the Aurora Borealis and Australis out there but this is by far my favourite — for once, the soundtrack suits the film perfectly too, making this a finalist in the Vimeo Awards 2012.

Shot from the International Space Station, look out for all the lightning storms too!