Highlands & Islands

'Mysterious Steve' photo wins astronomy festival contest

Winning Hebridean Dark Skies Festival image by Casey McIntyre Image copyright Casey McIntyre
Image caption The winning image shows a Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (Steve) on the left-hand side

The winner of a photography competition run as part of the first Hebridean Dark Skies Festival has been announced.

Called Meet Steve, the image was taken by Berneray-based photographer Casey McIntyre.

It shows a mysterious phenomenon known as a Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (Steve), which appears during displays of the Aurora Borealis.

Astronomers have been trying to better understand the phenomenon, and Nasa has funded a citizen science project seeking sightings the aurora.

The Hebridean Dark Skies Festival, the Western Isles' first astronomy festival, created and led by An Lanntair arts centre, will take place on the Isle of Lewis from 8-21 February next year.

Speakers will include Chris Lintott from BBC's The Sky at Night, science presenter Heather Couper and Astronomer Royal for Scotland, John Brown.

There will be live music performances and screenings of films, including The Rocket Post and the silent movie Wunder Der Schöpfung.

Arts centre An Lanntair, Stornoway Astronomical Society, Calanais Visitor Centre, Gallan Head Community Trust and Lews Castle College UHI are involved in the festival.

Stargazing events will be held at Gallan Head and the Calanais Standing Stones.

Image is subject to copyright.

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