When will I be able to see the aurora?

When will I be able to see the aurora?

The aurora is not visible from the UK all of the time and nor is it regularly visible at a specific time.

Exactly when an aurora may be visible from the UK is all down to the complex interactions between the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic bubble known as the magnetosphere. AuroraWatch UK measures the effects of those interactions on the Earth’s magnetic field from the UK and issue alerts of when an aurora may be visible. Our alerts are real-time, they are not predictions. So if we alert you that activity is high then it means that activity is high at that time.

Of course, things like daylight, cloud cover, and light pollution may impact on whether you will actually be able to see the aurora. You will not be able to see aurora during daylight hours.

That being said, statistically, the best time to see an aurora is between 10pm and midnight (though sometimes the aurora can be seen throughout the night). This is because one of the processes behind the aurora (substorms) generally peaks around that time. Skies are also generally dark by that time. However, the best bet is to keep an eye on our alert levels as they will let you know how active the aurora is right now.

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