Welcome to the Aurora Section

The 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

NLC are visible in the southern hemisphere at the moment(22 Jan 2018).

aurora and nlc

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 18/19 March 2018
Aurora Alert State Medium
Level Up to 7 so far
Info A Coronal hole  began impacting the Earth 2 days ago. This afternoon the field went negative and the level rose to a G2 and the wind speed is over 500 kps. It has been visible since 21.00 18 March 2018 from Moray coast. A green arc active up to 15dg high and 120dg wide. I also saw STEVE in the west from 21.57 to 22.38.
Visible from… As far south as northern England but could go further.