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I live in the Netherlands and recently I have been seeing an orange glow in the sky at night, in the northwestern direction. What is the cause of this? And why is it in the northwestern direction (I have seen it a couple of times recently, all in the same general direction).

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My first guess given that you're in the Netherlands would be the aurora borealis. Can't say for certain without more information. – David H Jan 2 '13 at 22:19
Probably some dust particles in the air. Auroras are usually green and Netherlands is still quite south for this. Do you have any bigger city in the direction of the glow? That could be connected with the dust in the air. – Ondřej Černotík Jan 2 '13 at 22:25
Can you get a photo of it? – Michael Brown Jan 2 '13 at 23:26
@DavidHammett It's not the Aurora borealis, that I'm sure of. – user14445 Jan 3 '13 at 0:26
@MichaelBrown If I see it again I will, and I'll post it up on here. – user14445 Jan 3 '13 at 0:26

What kind of Orange and how much of the sky did it fill?

enter image description here

Low pressure sodium lights are common in lighting cities and highways. Is there a big city/freeway northwest of you? I suppose under the right conditions you could see sky glow from a large city a long way away.

If you are at a very dark clear site (unlikley in the Netherlands) it could be zodiacal light - sunlight reflecting off the dust that fills the solar system. Although I don't know you could see it with the naked eye at a regular site

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