Photographer captures Northern Lights over Wexford – ‘My jaw nearly hit the floor!’

The Northern Lights as captured by photographer Mark Hogan from Carrigfoyle Quarry in Wexford.

Pádraig ByrneWexford People

A Wexford photographer and amateur astronomer was absolutely blown away to capture aurora borealis or the Northern Lights in all their splendour from Carrigfoyle Quarry, overlooking the Wexford countryside.

Mark Hogan had travelled up Forth Mountain from his home in Cleariestown on Thursday night after an app on his phone told him of an increased chance of seeing the Northern Lights. However, he travelled in hope rather than expectation.

"I am quite interested in astronomy,” he said. “But Ireland is one of the worst countries in the world to be interested in astronomy. It seems like any time there’s anything interesting going on out in space, it’s raining or there’s a lot of cloud cover.”

Having managed to capture the Northern Lights previously back in 2003 though, he was not to be deterred and he packed his camera and headed for the high ground of the quarry.

“It was cold and windy up there and at first when I arrived, you could see some stars, but the clouds were blowing across,” he explained.

"I was using the mast on Mount Leinster as a marker in the distance. I waited a while, but I couldn’t see anything, so eventually I put the camera on a tripod and set it to 13 second exposure. I couldn’t see anything with the naked eye.

"When I came back and looked at the screen, you could have heard my jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. To capture those colours and get the pinks and everything in there...I was just blown away. I expected to just see grey.”

An avid landscape photographer, Mark was delighted to share his capture on social media and people across Wexford and the whole country were similarly amazed. For more of his work, search for Mark Hogan on Facebook.