Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Caithness and Sutherland offer some of the best spots to experience nature’s fire-works show without the explosions.

Talmine Beach - Maciej WiniarczykKyle of Tongue - Maciej WiniarczykAckergill Tower at Night - Maciej WiniarczykWick River - Maciej WiniarczykLoch Killimster - Maciej WiniarczykSinclairs Bay - Maciej WiniarczykAckergill Beach - Maciej Winiarczyk

The aurora is caused by material thrown out from the sun interacting with the earth’s magnetic field, producing  light from energised gas molecules in the upper atmosphere. Best known as the Northern Lights, this phenomenon lights up the night sky with an uncanny display of colours. Varying from a green glow on the horizon,  a shimmering luminescent curtain , to streaming fronds of red and yellow light , this is an experience you will not forget.

At the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, promontories and harbours along the north coast offer prime viewing sites or join Caithness Astronomy Group at Castlehill  Heritage Centre, which has been  awarded a designated  “ Dark Sky” status. At this  safe spot with all facilities but without light pollution, Caithness Astronomy Group  offer  guided star observation in the courtyard followed by fascinating talks and presentations by visiting authorities  and local enthusiasts.

Check out the Astronomy Group’s programme on SpangleFish.   

Check out the aurora forecasts on Spaceweather or Aurora-Service.            

Photos on this page by Maciej Winiarczyk, Ken Crossan.

Next Event

Astronomical Alchemy with Caithness Astronomy Group

Astronomical Alchemy with Caithness Astronomy Group

Join chemist and amateur astronomer Gordon Mackie, and well known and popular speaker at CAG events Mike Lunan, for this astronomy linked celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements (IYPT 2019). The first part of the evening will introduce the Periodic Table of Elements, and with some audience interaction, illustrate how the elements form an often overlooked part of our everyday lives. There will then be a short break for some night sky observing (weather permitting) and refreshments. The second half of the presentation will outline the astronomical processes that generate the chemical elements, before finishing by highlighting the significance of a small selection of the elements from an astronomy perspective. Children are very welcome if accompanied by a parent or guardian.