Stepping out of the car it was apparent that a pale green glow filled most of the northern sky. I quickly had the camera set up and fired off a few test shots at various exposure lengths, quickly finding that the pale green belied more complex colours at the fringes.
We didn’t have to wait long before this ethereal glow suddenly shimmered and crystallised into a bright and complex structure with rays and curtains hanging in the sky. With a whoop we watched as the whole sky suddenly erupted in colour and shape as the display intensified before our eyes.
After this initial period the aurora died down to a pale green arc; some structure continued to be revealed by photography. We only had to wait a few more minutes though before the activity picked up once again, this time a brightening along the lower edge of the arc signaled a period of rays and curtains that extended far to the south.
It was strange to be looking behind us to see activity but this tallied with reports of the Northern Lights seen as far south as Norfolk during the course of the evening.
We finally noticed that a large snow storm was rapidly approaching us, swallowing the aurora and the stars as it advanced. We reluctantly packed up and headed back towards Aberdeen. Just before the snow hit there was a chance to get a final view and so I pulled the car safely off the road and took a final set of photos as the clouds continued their march southward.