New AuroraWatch UK Magnetometer

Thanks to generous funding from GradConsult, an SME specialising in graduate employment, the AuroraWatch UK team are pleased to announce that a new magnetometer will soon be added to our aurora alert network. As part of their newly-founded microgrant scheme, Gradconsult have provided funding for us to build a new Raspberry Pi based magnetometer and…

The Vivid Lights: What Causes the Colour of the Aurora?

Traditionally, Earth’s aurora are well known for appearing as a bright green glow across the night sky. Whilst green is the most common colour we see, it’s certainly not the only one! In this article, we talk about the different colours you might be able to catch if you see the aurora, as well as…

Citizen scientists discover new type of aurora

The aurora Steve. Rémi Farvacque‎/Alberta Aurora Chasers (facebook) Nathan Case, Lancaster University A collaboration between aurora-hunting citizen scientists and a team of professional researchers has resulted in the discovery of a completely new type of aurora. The finding was made possible thanks to photos taken by aurora enthusiasts from across the globe which scientists could…

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…