Mirrie Dancers at Burra

Mirrie Dancers at Burra

Photographed here is one of the displays from the controversial ‘Mirrie Dancers’ arts project - the Duncansclate crofthouse in Burra illuminated at night with a variety of dynamic coloured lights.

The ‘spiral galaxy’ in the top-left is actually lens flare, which I intentionally kept in the image. Incredibly, a singular meteor came within a few centimetres (measuring on the screen) from entering this very frame - alas! The lights from a passing car nicely lit the foreground.

Shetland does get the real aurora borealis, known locally as ‘mirrie dancers’. The frequency and strength of the aurora is related to solar activity. The sun though has been relatively inactive this last two years. I read the other day that the sun is becoming more active again, coming out of ‘solar minimum’ - the period of least solar activity in the sun’s 11-year activity cycle.

The man in Shetland with a passion for the aurora borealis is photographer Ivan Hawick. You can see his brilliant aurora gallery at http://www.ivanhawick.com/gallery.php?gid=43

Posted: February 14th, 2010
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