Maybe the greenish glow I saw a couple of days ago was an aurora then. I just thought it was reflected light in the clouds although I couldn't think what lay in that direction that was emitting a greenish glow...

If it was an aurora then it wasn't a very good display.

Which direction are the effects normally most visible, or is it all across the sky? The only time I've seen them (from Hampshire) I'm sure it was all over, but mostly to the south, which didn't really make sense - I'd have expected the north.
The window next to my computer looks pretty much straight north, but sadly I'm right on the southern side of the city, so I've got about 8 miles of light pollution in front of me...
The aurorawatch page is showing green (although getting a bit twitchy), but the canopus one is showing the aurora oval covering most of the UK. Oh, wait - it's just changed and now is only Scotland. Bah.

I've only seen it 7or 8 times now, but it should be in the northern sky, with a clear horizon it seems brightest low down. As far south as I am, it's rare and usually has just a green or pinkish glow, but the other weekend with the storm at its highest, most of the sky to the north and n.w. was green, with reddish-pink striations reaching to nearly 70 degrees. There's a picture gallery at if you haven't already had a look.
Watching it last evening: It seemed to start towards where the sun had set - ie in the sky west of here. There were 2 red - pink rays which from here appeared to be going straight upwards into the night sky.

A friend of ours who lives in the dark countryside, and knows I am interested in such things, telephoned to say that she had seen it in the western skies.

We drove out into the countryside away from the lights of villages and towns. It wasn't a particularly intense display - but as we moved away from the artificial lights - so it became more visible. The camera was recording more than we could see ourselves.

It peaked at about 1930, I think. We had driven to a completely dark beach. The only light annoyance came from a lighthouse about 2 miles to the south east. At 1930 the effects were peaking directly overhead. Rays of red - pink light went up into the sky from the west and the north west. But the sky to east also had a greenish tint and was unusually bright.
It covered the entire sky last night in Edinburgh. I have seen it in the south from my home town which is at the same latitude as Inverness.

I believe they have even been visible in Germany this year, so should definatly have been visible from Hampshire. Keep looking out swjk.:)
brian ellwood said:
A regular peek at this site will give you a good idea of the chances of seeing aorora in the uk. The magnetometer readings are taken at York uni. and constantly updated. Any sign of red on the graph means a good chance. Everything has gone quiet at the moment.:(

Brian, I have tried this link a few times and it seems to be broken. Could you try and re-post it please? Thanks. :)
Min Bannister said:
Ooh, cool site, thanks. :)
Just happened to click onto the lancs website (above) and saw that in the last hour it seems to have suddenly spiked well up into the yellow after pottering along for the last few weeks barely into the green. There's a 'possible sudden storm commencement' notice but I suspect that's all automatic so might just be a glitch or whatever that corrects itself, or there might be a chance for some aurorae...

Ah thats interesting, I didn't get the chance to check the site last night but I saw some mild white aurora over Edinburgh last night, was very pretty along with the moonlight.
We suffer from bad light pollution here. nothing is done about it of course.

I have sadly never seen the aurora myself but hope to one day.
Aurora Borealis

Just to let everyone know apparently the last few days have seen some of the most intense activity on the sun and as a result there have been some spectacular Aurora's seen much further south than usual. According to Astronomy Ireland this activity should continue for the next few days and in particular tonight so if you have clear skies wherever you are get out and see it if possible.
Great Photo: This thread needs more...


HMS Ocean Conducts Cold Weather Amphibious Warfare Training Under the Shimmering Gaze of the 'Northern Lights'

Whilst conducting Cold Weather Amphibious Warfare Training within the beautiful Fjords of Northern Norway, 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, HMS Ocean's photographer was able to capture this stunning image of the Northern Lights shimmering above the Helicopter Carrier's Flight Deck.

HMS Ocean is the Royal Navy's largest warship and is operating in the region as part of the UK's Amphibious Task Group, conducting Exercise Cold Response; a multinational exercise conducted alongside the Norwegian Armed Forces. ... geNav/6568
Here's another beautiful one:

I've only ever seen the northern lights once. It must have been about 30 years ago in Sunderland.

They were very faint but still awe-inspiring!
Why do I feel that I'm about to tell you that Santa isn't real...

The images in that documentary are not the ones she saw at the time.. The camera they were using was not sensitive enough to register the aurora so stock images were painted in during post production.

Sorry. :oops:
danny_cogdon said:
Why do I feel that I'm about to tell you that Santa isn't real...

The images in that documentary are not the ones she saw at the time.. The camera they were using was not sensitive enough to register the aurora so stock images were painted in during post production.

Sorry. :oops:

Here's what the photographer of the northern lights footage has to say about it:
Hi. As the photographer of the Northern Light fottage to this programme, I really have to comment your word about this happening.

quote from Blue Post prod....: "The digital stills animation sequences of the Northern Lights footage and its integration with the HDCam material was testing in terms of both grade and online. The sequence has ended up stunning, packing a visual and audio punch to match the emotional intensity of a very precious moment.” quote end.

Here is also a link to their site: Joanna Lumley.....

No filmcamera I know about can shoot high quality frames in this low-light conditions. So they choosed to make it this way, with digital stills. And I'm working with lenses like Canon EF24mm/ f1.4, who is very fast and collect a lot of light. This night was really stunning and the people in the post prod. has done a great job.
And she also moved, as you easily can see in the show.
Its no hocus pocus, just pure hard work :)

So its really happened and if you or other want to join by tours to experience this, like the lovely Joanna Lumley, please visit my site
KS- Tromsø, Norway - Joanna Lumley.....
I'm not saying they are fake aurora because they were real. However, any shot you see with JL gazing at them is a composite of the standard camera footage and real aurora captured using a high-sensitivity camera. The two shots were put together in the edit.
Northern Lights becoming rarer, researchers warn
The Northern Lights have petered out during the second half of the decade, becoming rarer than at any other time in more than a century, according to meteorologists.
Published: 6:25PM BST 28 Sep 2010

The aurora borealis generally follows an 11-year “solar cycle” in which the frequency of the phenomena rises to a maximum and then tapers off into a minimum and then repeats the cycle.

According to researched at the Finnish Meteorological Institute however, the solar minimum was officially in 2008, but has been “going on and on and on”.

Noora Partamies, a researcher, said: “Only in the past half a year have we seen more activity, but we don’t really know whether we’re coming out of this minimum.”

The Northern Lights, a blaze of coloured patterns in the northern skies, are triggered by solar winds crashing into the earth and being drawn to the magnetic poles, wreaking havoc on electrons in the parts of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere and magnetosphere.

A dimming of the Northern Lights is a signal that activity on the sun which causes solar winds, such as solar flares and sun sports, is also quieting down.

For researchers, it is the first time they can observe through a network of modern observation stations what happens to this solar cycle when it becomes as badly disrupted as it is now.

“We’re waiting to see what happens, is the next maximum going to be on time, is it going to be late, is it going to be huge?” Dr Partamies said.

During the cycle’s peak in 2003, the station on Norway’s Svalbard island near the North Pole, showed that the Northern Lights were visible almost every single night of the auroral season, which excludes the nightless summer months.

That figure has fallen to less than 50 per cent, while the southernmost station, situated in southern Finland, has been registering only two to five instances annually for the past few years. ... -warn.html