Category: Northern lights

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The northern lights … also available in purple

Last weekend was a good weekend for viewing the aurora.  In fact, the lights showed up both on Friday and Saturday nights when Scotland was enjoying a rare period of high pressure with limited cloud cover. But the most remarkable thing about last weekend’s showing of the northern lights was that for the first time in my aurora-chasing experience, the lights on Saturday night … Read More The northern lights … also available in purple

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Hello aurora!

Last night the aurora came back for a brief visit.  The light show was slow to get going but for a brief five minutes the sky lit up and sent purple and green pillars reaching high up towards the stars. Charged particles from a coronal hole were forecast to reach the Earth yesterday and sure enough, once it got dark (around 9pm now that … Read More Hello aurora!

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My first sighting of the aurora in 2017

Chances of an aurora were good on the 1st March when a coronal hole was forecast to emit a fast stream of charged particles towards the Earth.  And sure enough it didn’t disappoint, giving sightings across Scotland and northern England. This turned out to be the only amber level warning issued by Aurorawatch UK in the first two months of 2017.  And unfortunately this … Read More My first sighting of the aurora in 2017

We’re entering solar minimum

  If you have an interest in aurora watching you may have heard that we’re entering solar minimum: but what does this mean ? The sun doesn’t provide a constant stream of energy but exhibits phases of higher and lower intensity.  It tends to operate on an 11-year cycle and it is this cycle which has a significant bearing on the chances of seeing an … Read More We’re entering solar minimum

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Colourful northern lights, 6th March

  We were treated to an unusually strong showing of the northern lights this week as a high speed solar wind reached the Earth’s geomagnetic field.  Reaching Kp 7, it was so strong that the aurora was visible across the UK and as far south as the Netherlands and Germany.  Luckily for us it also all kicked off just after dark when skies were … Read More Colourful northern lights, 6th March

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Dancing lights over Scotland

Wednesday evening’s showing of the northern lights turned out to be one of the most impressive I’ve seen, being seen across Scotland, northern England and Wales. I hadn’t realised quite how strong the aurora might be.  I’d just watched the Bake Off final on TV (required family viewing in our household) before I checked the Solar Monitor app on my phone and looked out … Read More Dancing lights over Scotland

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An unexpected light show

Just when I’d been away walking for three days in the Lake District and was looking forward to catching up on my sleep I received various alerts mid-afternoon indicating a moderate solar storm was in progress.  Oh well, you can’t be too choosy when these things happen …  By just after 9pm it was fully dark and sure enough a test shot looking north … Read More An unexpected light show

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Seeing the northern lights in August

Chasing the northern lights from the UK is a fickle business.  The impressive displays of lights overhead – the photos you normally see posted up from Alaska, Northern Canada or Northern Scandinavia – are rarely seen at lower latitudes.  Most of the time a diffuse auroral glow is about the best we get to see here in Central Scotland.  But I was lucky to … Read More Seeing the northern lights in August

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A colourful showing of the Northern Lights

  We were treated to another really good Northern Lights show again last night, visible across Scotland and Northern Ireland.  It’s not often I actually see them from my upstairs window given the glare from street lights but sure enough, there was a definite green glow.  Funnily enough, my first test shot with my camera showed up nothing and I didn’t believe it.  A … Read More A colourful showing of the Northern Lights

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A welcome return of the Northern Lights

The northern lights made a very welcome return last night, here seen from a few miles north of Auchterarder in Perthshire. These photos were taken on the 18th March, a day after the strongest aurora during this entire solar cycle (registering Kp 8.8).  Unfortunately, the skies in Central Scotland were bathed in low cloud and fog; all that was visible were the orange street … Read More A welcome return of the Northern Lights