View Full Version : Aurora Borealis
Is the Northern Lights visible from the British Ilses? All parts?
Unfortunately, No. It can be seen I believe from some of the islands off the north of Scotland, but down in England I've never heard of it being visible.
Check out this link (http://www.dcs.lancs.ac.uk/iono/aurorawatch/)
there has been at least one siteing in devon which have heard of, but i think they are extreamly rare this far south, they occour some times in scotland i believe!
Not in UK of course, but while the wife and I were living in So. Lake Tahoe, Ca., at 6250' elevation in the Sierra Nevada mountains, we were able to see it faintly one moonless evening. At least, we believe it was the AB. It sure did act and look like it was.
Ogri the trog
I was reliably informed that they were visible from Wales on one night last spring (IIRC) by an avid astrologer friend - though they only appeared as a very feint green glow in the extreme distance.
Ogri the trog
i've been lucky enough to see a couple of spectacular displays in scotland, both quite different but equally beautiful. I nearly dismissed it the first, and most dramatic time because of a small amount of light pollution from street lights, but even a short distance away from the lights we realised that the night sky was filled with light, like a huge umbrella of shifting, cascading colours, it was quite amazing and unlike anything i had ever seen before, hard to describe and certainly unforgettable.
I was lucky enough to see the lights in Northumbria last year in January.
Very faint but colours were green and purple. I took some pictures which are not spectacular but do show the colours quite well.
I'll try and dig them out to post up.
I've seen them, the dancers, quite a few times in Scotland, but the light pollution of the central belt really gets in the way.
Ahhh... brings back memories of the walk home from the pub past Pittodrie singing (well, shouting) :aargh4:
"The Northern Lights of Auld Aberdeen <hic> :beerchug: mean home shweet home to mee... <hic> :beerchug: "
Actually saw them there a couple of times - beautiful!
As an avid amateur astronomer I've been seeing the AB many times. When the activity is very high, AB can be seen in southern France and Northern Spain, so England is a definitive "go", It can be seen in your country...
A good start for checking AB is www.spaceweather.com
Several years ago I had the Northern Lights pointed out to me on a lovely summer night by a know-it-all in a hilltop bar/ club. Even tho I'd had a few drinks I knew that 1) We were facing south, 2) the south of France has a pretty remote chance of seeing the Lights and 3) there was an autoroute just over the horizon. Didn't say anything just wandered back to the real world... :rolleyes:
Even if there is no visual aurora, the ionisation is often there - radio amateurs use it to bounce signals off. It is quite odd - you point your antenna north, and you can contact stations in Scandinavia who are east of you and also beaming north.
Back in about 1990/91 A friend & I saw a spactacular Aurora that spanned the whole sky, from the greenish 'curtains' near the horizon to the boiling clouds right above us, even a large white strak that morphed around about halfway up the sky.
The most staggering thing I ever saw. We were on the hill road between Banbury & Hook Norton in Oxfordshire at around 9.30 at night - I can't remember what time of year though it was dark so not summer.
We tried to wave down some of the passing cars because nobody was noticing it - they all just kept driving - despit us pointing to the sky - they probably just thought we were mad :rolleyes:
If I hadn't looked out of the sunroof we might not have noticed iether because the lower parts of it looked like the glow of a distant town or something - I knew the road & realised we were too far away for it to be Banbury.
About the same time, 1990(1), a friend of mine and I were driving back from Toronto and he mentioned that he would like me to notify him if I ever saw the Aurora. Well I waited till we got out of TO before showing him the Aurora that had just appeared as if on cue. It lasted at least 7+ hours till we stoped for the night along the way home. All he could say was WAaaaaHhhhhhhhh........
I have been lucky enough to see "aurora australis" (southern lights) whilst working for the British Antarctic Survey at Halley research station in 1995/96.
pictures can't describe the beauty of it :)
I was staggering back from the pub one night when I saw lights of different colours dancing in the sky, I was convinced that it was the northern lights come down south, but now I reckon it was some sort of lasers being used at a party somewhere. I did see them, I did..............Jon
The lasers used for celebrations go a long way. A few weeks ago I saw odd lights lighting up the clouds. I later heard that it was lasers celebrating the opening of Perth concert hall - 13 miles away.
I live pretty far North in Scotland and we see them pretty regularly.
Watched them for about an hour from the garden about a month or so ago - no light pollution where I live meant they were really pretty bright.
The aurora borealis are certainly visible in the UK. Admittedly I stay up North a bit (NE Scotland) and have seen them several times. They have taken all sorts of different forms when I have seen them, rippling sheets of red, like a white 'cloudburst', but yes you can see the Northern Lights in the UK.