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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 season has finished wef 10 August 2016




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 31 December 2016
Aurora Alert State



Up to 6 so far


A Coronal hole  began impacting the Earth at 11.00UT 31st December 2016. The field is unstable so it's effects will be limited at the moment. I have a green glow on the horizon 40dg wide and 5dg hi from the Moray coast at 2130UT and wishing you all a Happy New Year.


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