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.
|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.
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:
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 are available for Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad), and Windows (PC, tablet, and phone). 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.
- Android app by John Paul Jones.
- Android app by Smallbouldering Projects.
- iPhone and iPad by Progress Concepts.
- Windows & Windows Phone app by Nathan Case.
Support questions about the smartphone apps should be directed to the appropriate developer and not the AuroraWatch UK team.
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.
We provide an email notification service which sends red, or red and amber, alerts to verified email addresses. The automated alerts are limited to one every 24 hours for each alert level. In addition to the automated alerts we occasionally send information about major events or other related news.
To subscribe, unsubscribe or change which level of alerts you wish to receive please use our automated service.
Important: most email providers use some form of spam blocker. They often take the form of limiting the rate at which emails can be sent. In some cases these restrictions, which are outside of our control, may cause our alerts to be delayed for several hours. We recommend you also use Twitter, Facebook or one of the smart phone apps in addition to email alerts.
The spam filtering method used by Yahoo! caused unacceptable delays to our alerts and we no longer accept any Yahoo! email addresses on our lists. Please use another email provider.