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Banffshire Coast News

Cullen - One of the Best Places to see the Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis - or Northern Lights - is entering the liveliest stage of its 11-year cycle. And that means eerie hues of green and purple could be dancing over us several times a month. Our chances of seeing a display are increasing; solar activity goes in cycles of roughly 11 years, and the current cycle is set to peak next winter. It is possible to predict when an aurora will occur - to an extent. Sunspots indicate activity on the sun and there are websites which allow anyone to follow the "kp index". It measures solar flares. If it exceeds five, there may well be activity in mid or northern Scotland.

It is possible to see the very brightest of displays from towns, but it's best to be out in the country where it's darker. People do travel to Northern Norway and Iceland, but you can see them well from the north of Scotland which has the same latitude as Stavanger in Norway and Moscow. It's best to have a low horizon, so Cullen in the north east is a great spot.

Those who wish to find out when the Northern Lights will be visible can sign up for e-mail updates from AuroraWatch (click on http://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk to sign up).

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