When Northern Lights will appear in Scotland this weekend as Met Office predicts auroras

Scotland could see the Northern Lights this weekend due to a high-speed blast of solar wind hitting the atmosphere.

Following auroras spotted earlier this week, the Met Office Space Forecast says the auroras will make another showing as soon as this evening.

People in the north of Scotland can expect to see the Northern Lights, says the Met Office, with the best views possible tonight, Saturday, February 12.

This Valentine’s weekend could be extra special for stargazers who could make a date out of watching the ethereal green lights.

Read on for everything you need to know about spotting the Northern Lights in Scotland this weekend.

When and where will Scotland see the Northern Lights this weekend?

People in the north of Scotland will have the best views.

The Met Office Space Weather forecast says: “Any auroral enhancement is likely to be confined to higher latitudes, although it is expected to be visible across northern Scotland.”

why? The auroras appear due to what NASA calls an ‘explosive reaction’ that happens when a high-speed blast of solar wind from the sun hits the Earth’s atmosphere.

Because of the way Earth’s magnetic field acts, the lights are best seen the closer you are near the arctic circle, meaning the further north you are, the better.

Even so, the bands of light have been sometimes viewable as far south as the north of England.

Wherever you are, experts advise heading to a dark location away from lights and ideally from a good vantage point like a hill.

What day will the Northern Lights peak?

Looking northwards in the Isle of Skye Scotland to the beautiful colors of the night sky showing thousands of stars, satellites and the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis.  Big Dipper or Plow constellation in the center while the brightest star in the bottom left is Arcturus.
A fast-moving blast of wind from the sun means Scots could see the Northern Lights

According to the Met Office, your best shot is tonight, but you could still spot them Sunday and later on as they decrease over the following days.

A minor geomagnetic storm, also known as a G1, is most likely to fall today.

“The current fast wind ought to lead to peak geomagnetic activity for the four days, with a G1 most likely on day one, Saturday 12 February, declining into the new working week,” the forecaster predicts.

What time will the Northern Lights appear?

In general, the best time to watch out for the auroras is from 10pm and midnight, according to AuroraWatch UK.

“This is because one of the processes behind the aurora (substorms) generally peaks around that time,” explains the website from Lancaster University.

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When did the Northern Lights last appear?

Also known as aurora borealis, the Northern Lights already made an appearance earlier this week when people in Moray, Angus, the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and those as far south as Stirling saw the display.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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