By Marcus McAdam
We’ve been treated to some great aurora displays up here on Skye over this winter. However, I seem to always be off the island when the best ones occur. Only a few weeks ago there was the most powerful solar storm in over a decade, but of course, I was in the Faroe Islands to photograph the solar eclipse. You would have thought that being as far north as the Faroes, I would have been perfectly placed for a major aurora display, but I was actually too far north, as the display went far further south and was placed right over Scotland.
Read more: Old Man in Northern Light
By Marcus McAdam
On the morning of the 20th of this month, a partial solar eclipse will be visible from all of the UK, with north west Scotland seeing the maximum effect. I’ve witnessed a couple of solar eclipses in my life, and can honestly say that they were the most amazing natural phenomena I have experienced. I remember the first one I saw in France in 1999, and although my expectations were high, I wasn’t prepared for the insult on the senses which were to arrive just before and during totality. I remember when the Sun was covered by around 95%, the light became softer and a little diffused, unlike anything I had seen before. The temperature suddenly started to drop, and the birds started to roost - it was mid morning. Then just before totality, bands of shadows raced across the landscape, each one becoming noticeably darker. I had assumed that as the Sun was progressively covered by the Moon, that it would simply get gradually darker, like someone dimming the lights, but it was far from that. It was more as though someone was turning off lights one at a time, with definite and sudden steps in the approaching darkness. Then the most amazing part, which to this day still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I think about it - a wall of darkness came rushing towards me from the west.
Read more: Solar Eclipse Preview