Sky At Night

I’m writing this blog sitting, more-or-less, on the front room windowsill, looking out into the darkness (well, the darkness past the street lamp) with that kind of childlike joy and wonder that maybe, if I squint, I might get to see the Northern Lights.

But probably not. For a variety of reasons. The first being the street lamp – but the back garden is much, much darker. But secondly – and more importantly – because now I know there’s a chance of seeing them, it won’t happen.

I think, baring one eclipse when I was a child and we – me and dad – sat out on the drive in deck chairs with binoculars on a tripod, I have managed to put the kibosh on every single other celestial event by knowing about it and that very act somehow generating cloud cover.

I mean, there’s scatterings of cloud here now. Behind which, undoubtedly, the magical green light is dancing and taunting me.

Basically, from what I have gleaned, last night – or very early this morning to be precise – was awesome for the lights. Riding on the coat-tails of two coronal mass ejections, radiation is slamming into the planet like billy-o, and generating the magical lights which it would be quite nice to see.

I don’t even know if, last night, they came as far south as here but I am ever the optimist in these situations. Apart from the pessimism about the cloud, and the general lack of hope, obviously. But there’s an amber alert, which means that an aurora is possible, rather than that a child has been stolen in America.

So it’s worth nipping out into the garden every now and again for a looksee, right?

Right.