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Aurora detector could be installed

Shetland is a hotspot for seeing the northern lights as this photo by Austin Taylor demonstrates.

AN ORGANISATION that issues alerts when the northern lights might be visible in the UK is hoping to install a detector in Shetland.

AuroraWatch UK, run through Lancaster University, has received new funding to install a magnetometer in the north of Scotland.

The group said that while “discussions about collaborations are still ongoing, we are hopeful that this new magnetometer will be installed in Shetland.”

If it was placed in the isles, it would be AuroraWatch UK’s most northerly detector and it could give even earlier indications of activity.

Shetland is known as something of a hotspot for sightings of the Aurora Borealis, which is also known as the Northern Lights or the Mirrie Dancers locally.

AuroraWatch UK measures interactions between solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere and issues alerts to subscribers when the Northern Lights may be visible.