Green Sky at Night

Green Sky at Night (over Spelga Reservoir)

It’s hardly surprising that the Aurora Borealis phenomenon can be clearly visible in the night skies of the Mourne Mountains; low pollution enables this area to boast of having the darkest skies in the North of Ireland; and when cast against the reflections in the stunning Spelga Dam such a night enters the realms of ‘the greatest show on earth’!

Apparently the best time to see the Northern Lights in Ireland is in September, October, March and April. I still can’t reliably remember the details of the science behind the spectacle but it appears that it’s caused by electrically charged particles from space entering the Earth’s upper atmosphere at high speed… But what I do reliably remember relates to colour – of course – the two primary gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen, and during an aurora display the green we see is characteristic of oxygen, while hints of purple, blue or pink are caused by nitrogen. There you have it – is there any need to to know more!