I HOPE you saw the big display of the northern lights last Thursday night? If you didn't, don't kick yourself too hard. It was a sign that finally, the Sun appears to be waking up, firing off solar flares like a Gazette photographer with a brand new flashgun, so we should get some more displays as the year goes on. So for the rest of this month at least please keep an eye on the northern sky after dark, especially in the days after any big solar flares are reported.

Last week's display was unusually strong. Most auroral displays we see from this far south just look like vague green glows, appearing as a fat green rainbow very low in the sky, so the display of red and purple beams and rippling green curtains was very special. Hopefully we'll see more like it in the future, but there are no guarantees.

One thing we can guarantee - weather permitting, of course - is a fantastic view of the Moon through our telescopes on Saturday evening, when we hold our next Moonwatch at the Brewery Arts Centre. Come along from 7pm and we'll show you the Moon in all its cratered, mountainous glory: the works. If you do see something, get in the car and get out of town to somewhere really dark to enjoy the show at its best.

Stuart Atkinson

Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal