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Posted by on in The Sky

Continuing our theme of interesting things in the sky it would seem that these crisp autumn days are just perfect for observing shimmers of colour on the clouds in the sky. It is also nice to be able to share these with friends and family who have never seen them before.

While taking a well-earned tea break this weekend my parents and I spotted a rather nice pair of sundogs. We admired them for a few moments when I suggested that the cloud conditions looked to be just right for a circumzenithal arc. We all turned our gaze upwards and right on cue… a faint curve like an upside- down rainbow grinned down at us. As CZAs are formed from the same ice crystals that sundogs are made from it is always worth taking a glance upwards to see if there is one smiling down.

The following day we saw a rather nice iridescent cloud, which we managed to photograph for the first time. In addition to the cloud being fairly thin, the water droplets in the cloud have to be the same size in order for the diffraction effect to be seen. We have observed iridescence several times from WV, although it is apparently uncommon.   It is amazing what you see if you just take the time to look up once in a while.

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Posted by on in Astronomy


As a follow up to the photographs we published in the previous post, here is a timelapse video showing how the aurora developed and then faded away.

Altogether it was visible to us for approximately 1.5 hours.

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Photo shared by on in Astronomy

As usual, following periods of increased solar activity, we are always on the lookout for potential sightings of aurora. We use two websites to help us with this:-

AuroraWatch UK

&

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre

The predictions for a visible aurora were quite good for this evening and the weather was  favourable, so we thought we'd take a wander up to Woodlands View to see what we could see. We've done this many times before with no success, but tonight was to be the night.

We thought we could see a faint green glow to the North, behind the wind turbines and electricity pylons, very low down on the horizon. After setting up our cameras, some initial test shots looked promising.

Between 8.30 and 10.00 p.m. we stood and watched as the the display slowly built in intensity; seeing the gradual appearance of blue and red into the range of colours and also spotting what at first looked like faint searchlight beams either side of the main glow.

We were lucky enough to be joined by Garry Mayes from Planet Earth Education and his son, who had also thought it might be worth making the trip up onto the moor and it also happens to be the 20th anniversary of Nettie's first visit up here for work experience.

We managed to obtain a good selection of photographs but Nettie managed to top the lot by capturing an 'Flaring' satellite against the background of the aurora.

Hopefully this is the first of many sightings that we will have at Woodlands View.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Note:- I've changed the title of this blog post so that there is less chance of it causing offence. Many thanks to our watchdog for informing us of a possible faux-pas.

We have recently learnt of a proposal to widen/construct new track for access to Cocks Hill Wood, Cornholme - referred to as Bearnshaw Tower Forest in some of the planning documents.

I must stress that we are not opposed to the Forestry work that they wish to carry out, as it is essential work and ultimately will be of benefit to the environment.

What concerns us the way in which the application has been made.

As is right and proper, consideration has been given to the residents of properties near to the site and it has been decided that access to the site in that area is not practical. However, the wording of the supporting documents for the application state that because work has already been carried out on the adjacent Windfarm, the impact of these new works will be negligible. Part of the proposal involves the use of the windfarm access road for forestry vehicles for the majority of the route and the construction of a small section of new road to the site itself. No reference has been made to local residents adjacent to the entrance to the windfarm access road

We were led to believe (foolishly) that the access road for the windfarm would be used for that purpose only. Also, conditions of it's use have so far not fully been met and it has made it easier for people to access the moor with off road vehicles and fly-tip rubbish.

More importantly, the junction of the new road with the existing track will most likely destroy a geologically important section of the moor, where many types of carboniferous fossils can be found, some of which can only be found at this location within the British Isles.

No consultation has been made with relevant groups including the Todmorden Moor Restoration Society and the West Yorkshire Gelogy Trust, both of which have invested heavily in the preservation of the area. A Geology trail has been created and the site was established as a Geologically important site back in 2008. Funding was even provided by the Heritage Lottery Commision.

Please take a moment to look at the relevant pages on the Calderdale Planning Portal and if you are able to, sign up and register an objection. The deadline for objections is Wednesday.

We need to at least get the application reviewed so that a more thorough consultation can take place and preserve what little is left of the heritage of Todmorden Moor.

http://www.calderdale.gov.uk/environment/

Relevant Planning Reference numbers are:

14/01413/Ful

14/40022/For

 

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