Yesterday marked the winter solstice – a day of great importance to our ancient Irish ancestors.
And while cloudy conditions at sunrise prevented passage tombs at Newgrange in Co. Meath from being illuminated with their once-yearly light show, the skies above Ireland were graced with a special treat for stargazers: the Aurora Borealis.
Astronomy Ireland had indicated last week that a Northern Lights sighting might be possible. Indeed, there were reports from across the Emerald Isle of the Aurora Borealis during the early morning hours on Monday.
“We had reports from Waterford, Cork, Kerry, the west coast and Donegal and I photographed them here in Dublin,” David Moore of Astronomy Ireland told the Irish Times.
“The earth’s magnetic field turned southwards for a 24-hour period, sucking all the radiation from a solar storm into the north and south poles.”
Photographer Tyler Collins captured this spectacular time-lapse of the lights over Derry:
Moore also hinted that the Northern Lights display may not be over just yet.
“We could still get another display – people should keep their eye on the horizon, as what may seem like a colorless glow could be an aurora,” he added.
Enjoy these spectacular shots of the Northern Lights above Ireland during the winter solstice.
Winter Solstice is here-shortest day of year - aurora borealis over Newgrange, Boyne Valley Ireland pic.twitter.com/cjKxlkVHoY— Doug Earle (@EarleDoug) December 21, 2015
The Best Northern Lights in Ireland! pic.twitter.com/NMHws7N9Yn— Caveman (@donalrooa) December 21, 2015
Northern Lights over Carrickabraghy Castle, Isle of Doagh, Clonmany, Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland. pic.twitter.com/OqmIn2NflW— Brendan Diver (@donegalblaze) December 21, 2015