The season for spotting the beautiful aurora borealis is here and where better to enjoy it than the Moray coast
The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a spectacular sight to behold and the north of Scotland is lucky enough to enjoy stunning views of them.
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei first named the light phenomenon aurora borealis in 1619 after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas. It wasn’t until the 20th century that Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland proposed the theory behind the northern lights, saying that electrons emitted from sunspots produced the atmospheric lights after striking the earth’s magnetic field.
For centuries, people have marvelled at the beauty of the northern lights and headed to places like the north of Scotland to try to catch a glimpse. North West Scotland, Shetland, the Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Skye, Cairngorm National Park and our very own Moray are among the best places to try. Here, you could see them from mid-October until mid-March.
Top tips for catching the northern lights
It can be hard to predict when the northern lights will appear so, to increase our chances, here are a few tips.
- Avoid times when there is a full moon – we need as dark a sky as possible
- The best times are usually on cold nights with clear skies and no clouds or light pollution
- You are more likely to catch a sighting in the evening but be prepared to wait
If you’re planning a trip to Culbin Edge, you’ll be spoiled for choice with places to northern lights spot! Take your pick of the many beaches along the Moray Coast but choose somewhere along the coast away from streetlights and other light pollution.
Burghead is a popular spot and is located around a 20 minute drive from Culbin Edge. Other options include Findhorn, Hopeman, Roseisle and Lossiemouth beaches.
To help take out some of the guesswork, a local photographer has set up the Northern Nights Moray Facebook page to keep you updated on when you might spot the lights – a great resource if you’re staying at Culbin Edge.
Visit Forres has just published this great blog post on catching the northern lights in the area too.
AuroraWatch UK is another useful website to keep track and you can even set up alerts directly to your phone.
Good luck and happy aurora borealis spotting!
Have you spotted the northern lights in Moray? Share your photos with us on Facebook and Instagram. Or why not book your northern lights spotting trip with us? To book, contact us here or phone 07789 404794.