Aurora Borealis - How to see it in Scotland.

Last night, Carry Farm was treated to an incredible light show courtesy of the Aurora Borealis AND some shooting stars.  Did you know that  you do not have to leave the UK to see the phenomenon?  No need to look out your passport, book flights and queue in airports.  Head to Argyll's Secret Coast, less than 2 hours from Glasgow, book your stay here and look up!  

Why is it green?

The natural light show is caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere at the magnetic poles.  Like last night,  the most common colour display is green. It may be common, but does not disappoint!   The variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding. Green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. The rarer red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. The auroras can appear in many forms, from small patches of light that appear out of nowhere to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an incredible glow.

Avoid light pollution.

You need to avoid light pollution, it will ruin any Aurora show.  Carry Farm is ideally placed.  From our dark skies, the Aurora Borealis, shooting stars, the Milky Way and the International Space Station can be starkly visible on a cloudless evening. Look at our photo gallery and find us on the map and you will see why we are dark!  Despite being less than 2 hours from Glasgow, we are beautifully remote.  

Head North to Argyll.

The further away from the north pole you are, generally the lower on the horizon the aurora will be. This explains why in the stunning photo above taken by Shane Wasik of Basking Shark Scotland from our beach, the glow is low on the horizon.  Of course if there are clouds, then forget all the above! But all it takes is a clearing and all can be revealed. 

Researchers have also discovered that auroral activity is cyclic, peaking roughly every 11 years. The next solar max is around 2024, but looks like we will not have to wait until then!  The Aurora Borealis has been seen regularly at Carry Farm, most frequently in November, so we are delighted with last nights show in September. Check our availability for November to have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis without the hassle of leaving the UK.

The Dawn of the North.

We love a light show!  However in medieval times, the auroral displays were seen as a messenger of an imminent war or famine. They were named in 1619 by Galileo after Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.  The translation "dawn of the north" is definitely a more apt description of the actual event than the impending doom of the medieval period.

Find the time to escape the lights of civilisation this winter, book a stay in one of our architect designed lodges by the shores of the Kyles of Bute,  and spend an evenings  studying the night sky above Carry Farm.  You might just be rewarded with an unforgettable show!