Shooting stars at Buncrana Camera
by Linda McGrory
PHOTOGRAPHY enthusiasts in Buncrana have become
shooting stars thanks to the shimmering lights in
the Donegal night sky.
The amateur snappers at Buncrana Camera Club have
been out chasing the colourful Aurora Borealis, or
Northern Lights, and have come up with some
Club chairman, Adam Porter, has seen one of his
Aurora Borealis shots, featuring a fishing boat in
Urris, Clonmany, carried in nearly every Irish
national newspaper this week as well as global TV
"We're delighted, it's not only fantastic exposure
for the camera club but also for Inishowen," he
said, with no pun intended.
"When the sun ejects material it takes a few days to
get to earth. Tuesday night was too cloudy to see
the lights but I would say to people to make sure
the forecast is good for clear skies. If it doesn't
happen, then Inishowen is still a stunning place to
visit," he said.
Buncrana photographers on trail of
Aurora Borealis. > View
The club has been out
in force this week at Pollan Strand, Ballyliffin,
Urris and Malin Head.
Inishowen is also enjoying a Northern Lights tourism
boost with visitors planning to travel to the
peninsula from all over the country.
But astrophotographer, Brendan Alexander, who is
based in Killygordan and runs the Donegal Skies
website yesterday advised people: "don't panic".
"The lights can happen any time throughout the year
- all you need is a coronal mass injections from the
sun. But it is statistically most likely around the
time of the equinox in March, September. During the
summer months, around June and July, it won't get
dark enough in the night sky to see them.
"I would advise people to watch the forecast and
look at the right websites to see if there is
anything kicking off. You will then get about one to
three days' warning of a possible display. Maybe
then think about travelling.
"The sun's solar maximum is reached over the next
two years so that means, statistically speaking,
this year and next year are the two best years in
the eleven year cycle to see this phenomenon. I've
had so many emails from people and I'm trying to
calm them down a bit," he laughed.
"Consider your options before you travel long
distances because it can end in disappointment due
to cloud cover and other factors. Also, remember
that over the next year or two years it's likely we
will get a strong display that should be visible in
most parts of Ireland if not all of Ireland," added
the astronomy enthusiast.
To view photos of the Northern Lights
click here .