Popular Astronomy

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Welcome to the Aurora Section

aurora2sm.jpgThe SPA Aurora Section routinely observes the annual occurrence of the aurora and noctilucent cloud (NLC); both phenomena occur on the fringes of space in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

The Section offers advice on how best to observe and subsequently submit auroral reports. Our aim is to train members in the use of standard observing and reporting procedures and to promote a general interest in observational astronomy. We are especially pleased to welcome young or novice amateurs, though astronomers of all abilities and age groups regularly contribute to our observing projects.

Observing the aurora or noctilucent cloud is a naked eye activity and requires no special equipment – other than some enthusiasm and patience!

On this site you will find practical advice and information on how to conduct useful observations.

Sandra Brantingham

Aurora & NLC Director

NLC Sightings

NLC northern season is now finished wef 28 Aug 2015.



The last NLC and the first aurora of the season in 2013.

This was taken from my croft at Glenbarry, NE Scotland on the 4/5th August 2013

Latest auroral data

Date 9/10 Nov 2015
Aurora Alert State



Up to 6 so far


A coronal hole has started to impact at 1730UT 9 Nov 2015. I have no conformation as we have cloud,rain & srong winds.


Visible from... As far south as northern Scotland, but could go further.