The aurora borealis (or northern lights) is a spectacular natural phenomenon which can occasionally be seen in the night sky over Britain. Once seen, it is never forgotten.
AuroraWatch UK is a free service offering alerts when the aurora might be visible from the UK. It is run by scientists in the Space and Planetary Physics group at Lancaster University’s Department of Physics.
The AuroraWatch UK app for iOS is written, run and maintained by Neil Morton at Progress Concepts Limited, in association with AuroraWatch UK, giving you the data at your fingertips on your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, and delivering free real-time alerts whenever aurora is likely to be visible from the UK.
Alerts are configurable within the app to different levels, so you will know when to look out for aurora wherever you are.
* Receive realtime alerts direct to your device when sighting is likely.
* Monitor the UK's geomagnetic activity in real-time.
* See how likely it is that you may see the aurora.
* View last 24 hours chart.
* View map with current aurora & cloud cover.
* View Shetland Cliff Cam to see any aurora.
* Widget allows quick access to current activity.
* Watch app allows quick access to current activity.
* Watch complications.
* Use Siri shortcuts to get latest status (including HomePod).
- Improved widget.
Ratings and ReviewsSee All
fantastical aurora AWUK
Aurora uk it’s fantastic my wife and brother in law think it’s fantastic as we’ll I’ve seen them jump into their cars and go to see it closer up there crazy about it mind this was last year .but this year they haven’t had time with moving house it’s my fault because it’s into a new bungalow now because I have got vascular Parkinsonism so that’s how they haven’t been able to get it or going to see the aurora when it was happening but it’s back on now oke doke And cheers Leo Monaghan
Developer Response ,
Thanks for the 5 star rating. Good luck.
I love what you do but its hard to let you know
First time on this app today. I found it through some southern aurora pics and after continued reading I realised that I could be alerted when there would be or could be an aurora over parts of the UK.
I downloaded the app and have fallen in love with your live webcams. With the opportunity to watch an aurora, to follow a seal colony and to watch and listen to the Ocean I feel truly privileged.
However after giving all my details and reading comments from other app users I decided to post my thoughts, basically what I have said here, but there was no post button. Twice more I filled in the required details plus my post, to no avail.
I will look forward to hearing from you
Yours sincerely Nicola Drayton
Developer Response ,
Thanks for leaving your review, and I am glad you love what we do. Sorry, I am not sure what you mean by 'there was no post button'. If you want to reach out to us, you can directly via the 'Email Me' option on the Settings screen. If you want to leave a review on the App Store, you just did! Tapping 'Please Rate' on the settings screen takes you to the App Store. You leave a review, and tap Send in the top right. Hope this helps.
Near real time readings, yes, but nothing more
The app does provide near real time info and if that is what you’re after, ie 15mins notice, then all’s well.
However, and maybe I’m being too simplistic, but I find that presenting 12hours of past readings but not then using them in any way such as a rolling forecast/prediction (possibly including for experience/knowledge gained by full time watchers if possible and even if it had to be limited/qualified as some sort of considered comment on “increased momentum”, “activity increasing” or “likelihood of occurrence” covering a period something like 3 or 4 hours ahead) to be a significant omission. To me, presenting past data is redundant if it’s not actually used in some way that brings added value.
Developer Response ,
Thanks for your updates response. The app does indeed provide near real time data as you now state. It also shows the past 24 hours of data as the disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field over that time is a good indicator of any sustained activity, particularly during daylight hours that may then follow on to later nighttime and therefore dark hours.
As is indicated in the FAQs on the site I linked to previously, the ability to predict when an aurora might be visible in advance, with good accuracy, is actually quite difficult. Even the best models used by space weather scientists are quite coarse. As such, users are referred to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center for space weather alerts and aurora predictions www.swpc.noaa.gov, which is where the 30 minute ovation model forecast, shown on the More tab within the AuroraWatch app, is sourced from.
Whilst there is also the Kp index available, it may be useful to read the following blog post by Dr Steve Marple where he explains why Kp is a poor indicator for Auroral Alerts: https://wp.lancs.ac.uk/aurorawatchuk/2014/09/12/why-kp-is-a-poor-indicator-for-auroral-alerts/.
I hope that you find this information useful in explaining more about the Aurora and the reasons for using realtime data within AuroraWatch. I believe that the many thousands of people who use the app do so in order to get this real data.
Again, please feel free to reach out to me via one of the methods below.
Thank you for taking the time to review AuroraWatch. From what you have said, at 13:45 on the 3rd December, you were seeing data from 14:00 on the 2nd, through to 14:00 on the 3rd. This is what the app is supposed to do. It shows the data for the past 24 hours, and the current reading is the current (near real time to within a few minutes) chance of seeing the Aurora. It is not a 'prediction'. You can find out more about the AuroraWatch service here: https://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk. Please do reach out to me via the contact option within the app (Me screen), or via firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this review, and I will be sure to help in any way I can. 👍🏻
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- Progress Concepts Limited
- 39.7 MB
Requires iOS 10.0 and watchOS 4.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
- Age Rating
- © 2014-2021 Progress Concepts Limited
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.