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11:26am on Friday, 28th February, 2014:



Just before going to bed last night, I looked at the BBC news and saw a headline about the Northern Lights.

I've never seen the Northern Lights. I want to see the Northern Lights. According to the BBC news piece, posted an hour earlier at 23:01, the Northern Lights were visible in the UK as far south as Essex.

I live in Essex! I want to see the Northern Lights and they're visible in Essex!

I went outside. The sky was absolutely cloudless and I could see countless stars in all directions. No Northern Lights though. There were some flashes reminiscent of distant lightning that seemed to fill a lot of the sky, but they were probably of human origin; they originated in the west, too, not the north.

Damn damn damn! Still, the Northern Lights are notoriously unpredictable, so they may have been visible for a while then gone away, but could yet come back. I decided to go to sleep and wake up a little later to see if they had indeed come back.

Around 5:30, I woke myself up and had another look. Still no Northern Lights. I couldn't see the actual horizon in the north, so I guess it's possible they were visible very low down. Oh well.

I expect they'll be out again tonight, but as it's currently raining I don't think the skies will be clear enough to see them even if they're visible as far south as the equator.

On the plus side, the dream I got that woke me up at 5:30 had some really pretty particle effects in it.

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).