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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- 2017

I have gin clear skies & NLC to 10dg high and 90dg wide(Moray coast 00.00UT 17/18 July 2017).




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 11/12 October 2017
Aurora Alert State

Medium (G1)


Up to 6 so far


A Coronal hole  began impacting the Earth at 19.00UT 10 October 2017. The field is now negitiveand the wind speed is over 500 kps and is classified as a G1 storm. I have a green arc with raying to 15 dg highand 70 dg wide on the Moray coast at 00.30UT


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