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Northern Lights

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Chorley Lancs
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Northern Lights

Will it be possible to see the Northern Lights this winter from Shetland, and when is the best chance to see them?

Loch Lomond
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1. Re: Northern Lights


Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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2. Re: Northern Lights

Like the weather there's no guarantee when the Lights will appear - you could spend a month and not see them and have them appear the day after you leave.

The one definite thing you need is clear skies - so December & January are generally poor times to see them. Based on other comments the best time is March, though rather than the north of Scotland I'd go to either Iceland or North Norway to maximise your chances

Edinburgh, Scotland
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3. Re: Northern Lights

The other key factor determining whether you will see the Northern Lights is whether the phenomena are there to be seen at all. The chances of that are associated with the level of geomagnetic activity ("space weather"), and in turn with solar activity. We happen to be in the low part of the 11-year sunspot (Maunder) cycle at present so aurora displays are generally less energetic and spectacular ones less frequent.

You might like to keep an eye on the websites of the organisations that monitor the geomagnetic indices - the K index is the most relevant for predicting auroral activity. It takes a day or two for the disturbances due to a big solar flare to travel from the sun to the Earth. This and other prediction techniques allow them to issue alerts when the K index is likely to rise and a big auroral display to occur. The British Geological Survey will even email their alerts to you - see http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/welcome.html

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4. Re: Northern Lights

I have been on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage as far north as the Russian border, several times in winter. I can only remember one night when I saw the lights - a spectacular show however !

Derry, United...
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5. Re: Northern Lights

that is my first choice...ergo ads for Scotland should not include picturesque view of the Northern Lights...It's False Advertising and tourist boards should not be allowed to get away with that!...next stop...TRADING STANDARDS......

Grayslake, Illinois
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6. Re: Northern Lights

I always associate the Northern Lights with Scotland - I saw them in "Local Hero" :)

Cumbria, United...
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7. Re: Northern Lights

But they were seen in Scotland last October - check out Youtube



My mum remembered seeing them when she was a girl on Kerrera on winter nights.

Its just that you have a much better chance of seeing them further north in Iceland or Norway and even then its a matter of good luck.

Hamburg, Germany
10 posts
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8. Re: Northern Lights

I saw the Northern lights in Iceland last year. I chose Iceland but other options are f.ex. Alaska and Norway. The site I used the most was http://www.northernlightsiceland.com/ but other sites are good as well, like http://www.visitnorway.com/northern-lights

London, United...
9 posts
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9. Re: Northern Lights

Shetland is the best place in the UK to see the Northern Lights. Ideally you want to stay outside Lerwick to avoid light pollution. We stayed at Brekka Lodge http://www.selfcateringshetland.co.uk/ They advertise themselves as a good place to see them from. However, seeing the Northern Light is a lot to do with chance and is weather dependant (i.e. no cloud).

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10. Re: Northern Lights


Lucky chap!

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