Night Skies and Northern Lights

Autumn is upon us, the days are now shorter than the nights, just perfect for cosying up in front of the fire or getting out and looking upwards!


This season often brings with it clear nights and with little light pollution, there are many opportunities to see the night sky clearly as well as the magical Aurora Borealis (Northern lights), photographed here by Derek Stewart at Duffus Castle in September 2015. Looking north across the Moray Firth with amongst the lowest levels of light pollution in Europe means the view of our skies can be truly spectacular.

SIGMA – Moray’s Astronomy Club regularly issues Aurora Borealis Alerts for the Moray area as well as photos (and advice on how to take the best night photos.)

The Facebook group Aurora Research Scotland is another good one to watch if you want to increase your chances. Sightings are not guaranteed but if you’re lucky enough to be here through the Autumn and winter – and you have clear evening – you have a better chance here than any where else in the UK. So bundle up, wee dram in hand, binoculars at the ready, find yourself a dark spot and head out onto the beach…with some luck and patience you may catch a pretty amazing sight.

…oh and for anyone around on the 28th of this month, there is a total eclipse of the moon! (See British Astro’s Lunar Eclipse 28th September 2015 article)

lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse by Clyde Foster

Good luck stargazing!