Just how far north do you have to go to see the Northern Lights?

(21 Posts)
ThingsThatGoBomperInTheNight Sat 20-Oct-07 20:28:21

They are mentioned in a book ds is reading at the moment, and he has become rather obsessed with them. I know you can see them in the Arctic and parts of Canada, but can you see them any nearer to home?

saltire Sat 20-Oct-07 20:37:47

I'm 99% certain that my friend who used to live in Saxa Vord told me that she used to see them

stripeymama Sat 20-Oct-07 20:38:40

Outer Hebrides maybe?

saltire Sat 20-Oct-07 20:41:02

Sorry, saxa Vord used to be an RAF base on Unst, in the Shetland Islands (14 hours on aferry!)

it's being turned inot holiday homes

stripeymama Sat 20-Oct-07 20:42:02

Try looking on here

OrmIrian Sat 20-Oct-07 20:42:24

Saw them here once. In Somerset. And no I hadn't been taking anything illegal grin DH and I had just taken my parents out for a reasonably sober Italian meal.

southeastastra Sat 20-Oct-07 20:43:11

i the film local hero, he sees them in scotland

Indith Sat 20-Oct-07 20:44:01

Can see them in Durham sometimes

SeaShells Sat 20-Oct-07 20:47:59

As a child I lived in the very north of england, in a out of town area, and we once saw them, we used to see all sorts in the sky, so many stars, shooting stars etc, that I just don't see now living in a town with all it's streetlights.

WendyWeber Sat 20-Oct-07 20:52:29

I seem to remember reading about them being visible in the UK fairly recently.

There is a meteor shower due this weekend, for anybody with clear skies and not too much light pollution - orionids, something to do with Halley's Comet.

(Will google northern lights now!)

WendyWeber Sat 20-Oct-07 20:56:33

aurorawatch alerts for your DS, TTGBITN - you can register and they let you know when they might be visisble smile

pic near Dundee

WideWebWitch Sat 20-Oct-07 20:57:49

Oh I'd love to see them

NannyL Sat 20-Oct-07 21:19:29

dont forget it has to be dark

It may be obviouse but i spent 2 weeks in the arctic / norway in the summer.... due to 24/7 daylight we didnt see any, despite being told by loads of people, you will see the northern lights! hmm

I used to (very) occasionally see them in Aviemore. I think the further north you go the better you see them.

saltire Sat 20-Oct-07 21:40:19

I have emailed her, and she says she often saw them there in Unst,and says that when they were at Lossiemouth she saw them as well. I didn't ever see them when I was there, mind you wasn't looking

The further North you go, the more likely you are to see them

Babyramone Sat 20-Oct-07 21:44:08

I've seen them in aberdeenshire in a small village with not much light polluntion.

Nightynight Sat 20-Oct-07 21:50:23

I saw them once in Oxfordshire - I wonder if it was the same night you saw them in Somerset, OrmIrian!

WendyWeber Sat 20-Oct-07 21:56:45

There's a table in this website - scroll down giving max/min annual "event nights" between 1962 and 1989 (with clear skies) in various UK locations and it includes max 10 (min 0 wink) in Southampton shock

For Lerwick it's max 164 min 44. So head north!

prettybird Sat 20-Oct-07 22:04:14

They are occasionally visible in St Andrews - and I know a collegaue at work saw them once in Edinburgh. But they are not reliable that far SOuth.

I was really disappointed: I was in Iceland on December 22 2005, having dinner in a revolving restaruant on a clear night and one of my unfulfilled ambitions (depsite having gone to Uni in St Andrews) is to see the Northern Lights - and the buggers didin't show that night. angry

ThingsThatGoBomperInTheNight Sat 20-Oct-07 23:20:38

Thanks for all the info everyone - will show ds all the links in the morning!!! smile

jellyjelly Sun 21-Oct-07 17:56:55

what causes it?

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