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…

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…

Round up of UK aurora 01-02 March

It’s been a quiet start to the new year for aurora watchers in the UK, with only a single amber alert being issued in the whole of January and February combined. Perhaps this isn’t unsurprising considering that we are currently heading into a solar minimum, a drop in solar activity resulting from the Sun’s 11-year cycle. But, as reported…

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…

Auroral Photography: How to Maximise Your Chances

Over on the AuroraWatch UK Flickr page, photos of stunning auroral displays are shared with us regularly by some of the UK’s most talented photographers. Although aurora seen from the UK is often considerably weaker and less frequent than more northern countries, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. As many of our followers have discovered, using the…

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…

Receive alerts by Telegram messaging service

As a trial we’ve added Telegram to the list of services from which you can receive our alerts. Telegram is a cloud-based messaging service with widespread support for all the major mobile phone platforms and computer operating systems. There are native mobile apps for Android, iPhone (and iPad), and Windows Phone. The messaging program can…

The October 25th Aurora Red Alert

On October 25th, the UK received an astonishing early Christmas present. At 17:48 UTC (18:48 BST), AuroraWatch UK issued an extremely rare red alert, indicating that it may have been possible to see the aurora from the entirety of the UK. There were in fact two distinct periods where geomagnetic activity went above red alert thresholds:…

CME drives hidden aurora

Strong geomagnetic activity was recorded during the night of 13-14 October, resulting in an amber alert being sent out to our subscribers. High activity lasted for several hours and nearly reached our threshold for a red alert (falling just short of the required 200nT, maxing out at 190nT). The activity was the result of a…