AuroraWatch UK alerts

AuroraWatch UK takes geomagnetic activity measurements from the SAMNET and AuroraWatchNet magnetometers to automatically detect when it is likely that aurora can be seen from the UK. Our colour-coded system has four levels.

Colour Description Meaning
Green No significant activity Aurora is unlikely to be visible by eye or camera from anywhere in the UK.
Yellow Minor geomagnetic activity Aurora may be visible by eye from Scotland and may be visible by camera from Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland.
Amber Amber alert: possible aurora Aurora is likely to be visible by eye from Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland; possibly visible from elsewhere in the UK. Photographs of aurora are likely from anywhere in the UK.
Red Red alert: aurora likely It is likely that aurora will be visible by eye and camera from anywhere in the UK.

Please note that even if we issue an alert, local conditions will still need to be right for you to see aurora. For more information on what conditions you’ll need, please read our blog entry. If you’re wondering why we issue alerts during daytime, please read our FAQ entry.

Receiving alerts

We offer a number of ways to receive our automated alerts and to keep you informed about AuroraWatch UK. We recommend you use more than one:

Twitter

Following @aurorawatchuk on Twitter is the easiest way to receive alerts. Twitter accounts are free and you may be able to have Twitter send our tweets (messages) directly to your mobile phone as SMS messages. You can also limit the times of day when tweets should go to your mobile phone. We’ll automatically tweet for red and amber alerts, and also for minor geomagnetic activity. Automated tweets are limited to a maximum of 3 per 6 hours. Occasionally AuroraWatch UK administrators will also send other interesting tweets.

Twitter has a web page which describes how to receive SMS notifications. See also the list of supported mobile carriers. You are responsible for any charges that the SMS notification service may incur.

Smartphone apps

Smartphone apps are available for Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad). They use the same data as the other alert methods but may behave slightly differently, for instance not limiting the number of alerts in a given interval. The apps are written by third-party developers.

Support questions about the smartphone apps should be directed to the appropriate developer and not the AuroraWatch UK team.

Facebook

You can follow us on Facebook. Depending upon who your mobile phone carrier is you may be able to get notifications sent to your mobile phone by SMS. For more information about SMS notifications see the Facebook help centre. We’ll post to our Facebook wall for red and amber alerts, and also for minor geomagnetic activity. Automated posts are limited to a maximum of 3 per 6 hours.

Telegram messaging

Telegram is a messaging service with widespread support for most major phones and computer operating systems. There are native mobile apps for Android, iPhone/iPad, and Windows Phone. The messaging program can also be installed on computer running Windows, macOS and Linux. There is also a web interface too.

You can receive AuroraWatch UK alerts by subscribing to our AuroraWatch UK channel.

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