23 February 2021: Night of auroras

This night, the sea is quite quiet. In transit in the southernmost sector of the ocean section, we head towards station 57 (56°24 S – 78°23 E). I (Catherine) fill the logbook, in a soft night routine. Around 2 am, Manu arrives at the PC. “Did you see how clear the night is? It’s an aurora australis weather”. He doesn’t think he can predict it so well! Barely ten minutes later, Christophe arrives in his turn “auroras, auroras!”.

The tranquility of the ship was suddenly disturbed. Hats, jackets, gloves quickly put on, everyone who doesn’t sleep on board finds himself outside in the cold wind. Very quickly followed by those who tear themselves away from their bed. For my part (Hélène), I am woken up three times in the space of a minute: “eh, there are aurora australis”, I get out of my bed, and I walk, fast, very fast, even faster, outside. Unbelievable but true. For two hours, the white, green volutes, with slightly red edges, are created, fly, intensify and disappear. Seeing the sky dance is particularly euphoric. On the upper bridge, cries of joy and hugs. We are all excited like kids, happy, for most of us it is our first aurora. Excitement, emotion. Auroras are difficult to photograph… too bad, but we will never forget them!

Aurora Australis @Corentin Clerc

Authors: Catherine Jeandel (CNRS, LEGOS, Toulouse) et Hélène Planquette (CNRS, LEMAR, Brest)

More news

Diary

March 8, 2021: The last day

At 9h20 this morning, the RV Marion-Dufresne makes its grand entrance into the West Port of Reunion Island. Slightly tricky maneuver, neither the entrance nor the dock are very wide. Slowly, the quay gets closer.  Once connected to the shore, the loop is complete. A current of emotions, hugs, the last ones before returning to […]

08.03.2021

Diary

4 March 2021: The scientific command post and the cruise chief scientists

Very little mention has been made to the scientific command post so far and yet it is one of the ship’s neuralgic centers, especially for the scientists (and Martin). It is from the command post that the controls for lowering, raising and closing the rosettes start, it is from the command post that the strategic […]

04.03.2021

Diary

3 March 2021: Nostalgia and grace

Last night we crossed the 40th parallel, this time the gateway to the famous eponymous roars. In the wake, a few white-chinned petrels, a sooty one and our faithful Serge, this great albatross who has been following us for a long time… it doesn’t matter to us whether it’s him or a cousin, his name […]

03.03.2021

Search