Lancaster University Community Day… see you there!

If you’re interested in the aurora or anything space related, we might just have the event for you! Lancaster University are holding a Community Day on Saturday 6th May. It will be a day full of exhibitions, mini talks, hands-on activities, food and drink, and live music and performance – all held within the University’s…

27 March Red alert

Woah, what a night! For the first time since October last year, AuroraWatch UK issued a red alert (at 20:45 BST). This was then followed up by a couple of hours of amber alert and surrounded by periods of minor geomagnetic activity (yellow alert). Alert explanation The red alert was generated by the magnetic disturbance…

New! Aurora Map.

The AuroraWatch UK team are happy to announce the release of our new Aurora Map. The map has been designed to provide lots of useful aurora information in an easy to understand way. Through both real-time and historical data, we hope it will help you track down the majestic aurora on your next aurora hunting…

Ovation Aurora Forecast

The Ovation forecast layer appears on many aurora-related websites, including our own Aurora Map page. It’s a convenient way of graphically showing where an aurora might be seen, but we know it can cause some confusion about what is being shown and intrigue in how it is calculated. So let’s have a look at what…

The Auroral Zone: become a citizen scientist

Cold, wet afternoon? Bored? Wish you could see some pictures of the northern lights? Well read on! We’re delighted to share an exciting citizen science project with you called “The Auroral Zone“. Scientists from the University of Calgary in Canada need your help classifying thousands of images of the northern lights. The images have been…

Don’t panic: the northern lights won’t be turning off anytime soon

Nathan Case, Lancaster University The northern lights are nature’s very own magnificent light show. They are the mesmerising end result of electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Though more frequently witnessed from the polar regions, the UK and other places on similar latitudes are lucky enough for the aurora…

Possibility for nacreous cloud sightings

Although not related to the aurora, polar stratospheric clouds (also known as nacreous clouds) are a beautiful winter sky phenomenon. They only form when conditions in the stratosphere, a layer of our atmosphere at around 15-25km in altitude, are just right. One very important condition is that the temperature in the stratosphere must be below…

Daytime alert changes

Eagle-eyed followers may have noticed that we’ve made a change to our alerts. From now on, any alerts issued during “daytime” will look slightly different: Old version: New daytime version: We’ve tweaked the text to avoid any confusion about being able to see the aurora during daylight hours. As you’ll probably know, seeing aurora requires…

Light pollution: an aurora hunter’s foe

There are several things that can really frustrate the avid aurora hunter: dead camera batteries, cloud cover, and that pesky thing called light pollution. Light pollution is the name for the brightening of the night sky due to the presence of man-made sources, e.g. street lamps, high-rise blocks, or gas flaring from nearby petrochemical plants.…

What is airglow?

Beautiful green ‘airglow’ spotted by aurora hunters – but what is it? Nathan Case, Lancaster University Over the past few nights, amateur astronomers and aurora hunters alike have been reporting a green glow across the UK sky. Easily confused with the aurora borealis, or northern lights, the sightings were of another phenomena called “airglow”. Airglow…