Northern Lights in the UK put on a “spectacular” rare display in the South

24th Apr 2023
Northern Lights in the UK put on a “spectacular” rare display in the South

Last night, 23rd April, the famous Northern lights dazzled across the night sky in the UK’s south. The good news is the show isn’t over yet. The Northern Lights in the UK should continue on the 24th, so see them while you can!

Why did we see the Northern lights in the UK?

Over the last few days, a strong solar flare on the Sun’s surface was directed toward Earth with charged particles reaching our atmosphere on Sunday night. The charged particles interact with oxygen and nitrogen which then emit green and red colours over our poles. 

If it’s a strong solar flare, the charged particles can travel further away from the poles into middle latitudes such as southern England.

Credit: @stucornell via Twitter

Images from Sunday night show the Northern lights as far south as Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with people with clear skies fortunate enough to capture the natural phenomenon on camera. Even the residents of Ukraine could see Aurora with an unaided eye.

Here are some of the best photos for you.

Credit: David Piano (@ONwxchaser) via Twitter

Cloudy skies and light pollution obscured the aurora borealis for many people last night, with the Met Office saying Monday night, 24th April, will provide better viewing conditions. 

West highlands of Scotland, photo
Credit: @TrishBrewster1 via Twitter

The geomagnetic storm is a severe one and expected to last well over 24 hours, with activity likely sufficient to make the Northern lights visible across the UK for a second consecutive night.

Credit: @saloplarus via Twitter

Where Can You See The Aurora Tonight?

People hoping to see the Northern lights should head to areas with little cloud cover, and away from urbanisation as light pollution interferes with the spectacle. Vantage points, such as hills, can also help get the best view. 

Credit: @treetanner via Twitter

Some experts predicted that the scale of the solar storm is so vast that it will endure at a high level for more than 24 hours and be visible in both the northern and southern hemispheres at more central latitudes than normal. 

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