Polar Lights in Croatia – A Rare, but Possible Phenomenon

Katarina Anđelković

polar lights in croatia
Pexels (generic image)

November 6, 2023 – A surprising rare sight in the sky on Sunday – polar lights in Croatia. Although SpaceWeatherLive announced that the aurora, or an aurora-like phenomenon, would be visible from several locations in England, northern Germany and the Netherlands, it also appeared in the Croatian sky.

“I have never seen anything like this before. From what I saw, that fog followed the course of the Drava. It lasted about 15 minutes and just disappeared. The first thing that came to my mind was that it was the aurora borealis.”

Many other citizens, writes 24Sata, from Zagorje to Vinkovci, also immediately associated the light with polar lights.

Boris Štromar from the Beskraj Astronomical Society confirmed that the sight was indeed a polar light.

“It is rarely seen, but there was some kind of coronal ejection two days ago, and it takes that long for the material to reach the ground. This afternoon there was an announcement that we could potentially see it, so we hopped over to Sljeme. One part was very bright, very very red. As far as I know, about a month ago there was an equally strong light recorded from Slovenia. We hoped that there would be such situations because the Sun is approaching its maximum, so there are a lot of these strong eruptions.

He adds that they last photographed the aurora from Sljeme in 2015, but it was barely visible to the naked eye. The last time we could see light of this intensity was in 2003, he adds.

SpaceWeatherLive’s short-term Northern and Southern Hemisphere auroral oval intensity forecasts are based on solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions measured by the DSCOVR spacecraft.

The map shows the intensity and position of the auroral oval for the time indicated in the right corner of the map. Locations up to 1,000 kilometers north or south of the auroral oval can still see the aurora near their horizon during optimal viewing conditions.

The page also lists the countries where it is possible to see the aurora borealis, as well as the percentage of people in certain cities who will see it. It is interesting that Croatia is not on the list at all, while Slovenia is, and the possibility that the citizens of Ljubljana will see the aurora is currently zero percent.


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