Sky’s the limit as Lancaster University researcher wins grant for northern lights study

Dr Nathan Case and Rebecca Fielding, managing director of Gradconsult.
Dr Nathan Case and Rebecca Fielding, managing director of Gradconsult.

A Lancaster University researcher is celebrating after receiving a grant, which is aimed at helping research into one of the great wonders of nature.

Dr Nathan Case, a space physicist studying the northern lights, is involved with AuroraWatch UK, a volunteer-run project that alerts users to when the northern lights might be visible from the UK.

He has received £550 from Gradconsult, which will help go towards constructing a magnetometer, an instrument used to measure changes in the earth’s magnetic field, and place it in the north of the UK.

Dr Case has met with great difficulty as he looks into the issue as many amateur scientists struggle to gain recognition with the mainstream scientific community.

“I strongly believe that involving ‘everyday citizens’ in cutting-edge research can deeply benefit both the professional scientist and the citizens themselves,” he said.

“I have, however, met resistance as many fail to realise the value of citizen science, especially those involved in ‘traditional’ science subjects.”