Northern Lights and Dark Skies

Dark Skies Site IN Scotland


Have you always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights as they are often called?  Otterburn has been awarded ‘Dark Skies Milky Way’ Status.  Under our very dark skies we can see over 1,000 stars. We can even see our own galaxy, The Milky Way, stretching across the sky. We have no light pollution, no street lights and in the winter, lots of long dark nights which are perfect for sitting in the conservatory watching the magical night sky. Dark Skies Site in Scotland

As we are a designated Dark Skies site in Scotland we are blessed, as every winter we have the opportunity to experience the dancing lights of the Aurora. You can take a little bit of luck out of the equation and sign up to the University of Lancaster’s Aurora Watch service and get emails and text messages sent to your phone. Then you have no excuse to miss the magic of our Northern Lights! Dark Skies Site in Scotland

Dark Skies site in Scotland, Otterburn I and Otterburn II benefit from a conservatory which runs the length of the building giving you amazing views of the night sky. The Aurora Borealis can be watched from the comfort of your sofa. Dark Skies Site in Scotland

Interested in photographing the Northern Lights?

Here are some basics which will help you get a great shot.

  • Always use a tripod.
  • Wide angle lens is best.(14mm-35mm)
  • Set your lens focus to infinity.
  • Ensure your battery is fully charged and best to have a spare battery  too. The cold conditions often experienced when photographing an Aurora can often drain your battery.
  • Bring a headlamp (red bulb best), it will make configuring your camera easier.
  • Exposure time depends on your ISO and aperture setting but expect between 2 – 20 seconds.
  • Use a shutter release or the cameras self timer to stop camera shake.

Star Chart Resources

Star chart from Dark Sky Discovery

Evening Sky Map

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