Beautiful Eastern Light Show over the Lancashire Farmlands
By Pat Regan
A recent November afternoon’s nature ramble, with my youngest son Jason onto my local farmlands behind Southport, produced some rather exciting photographs.
I am familiar with rainbows and sundogs (parhelia) as atmospheric phenomena, yet I was a little hesitant about the precise identity of the following.
The time was approximately 3.45 am in the afternoon when my son Jason shouted out that the sky was becoming very weird.
We looked on in amazement as a mysterious rose-pink glow, shot through with other vivacious colours, materialised to the east towards the old Lancashire town of Ormskirk.
The sun was in fact ‘behind’ us so I partially ruled out the sundog effect as sundogs usually appear at the sides of the sun. This odd light however was in the ‘opposite’ direction to the sun.
Sundogs are normally made up of plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals therefore it was possibly a sign of cold weather to come. Forecasters in the UK have been predicting ice and snow very soon in fact.
I may also add here that I have recorded sundogs before on occasion.
And here is an Irish report that was brought to my attention:
We had not seen any rain that particular day so I was unsure that I should even call the lights a rainbow. Nevertheless, I think we can safety conclude that this light show was ‘not’ of extraterrestrial origin and marked some type of natural event.
I ran my thoughts past my old friend Nick Pope, ex of the MoD, and he concurred….
“Pat - I agree it's a meteorological phenomenon of some kind.”
The rose-coloured glow stayed visible for about 5 to 10 minutes before gently fading away.
Whatever one wishes to call it this amazing phenomenon was stunning and unexpected.