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Stunning Aurora Borealis lights up UK’s skies and could return Wednesday night


Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 15:26 GMT -

A powerful solar storm put on a spectacular light show in the skies above northern areas of the UK on Tuesday night and parts of the country could catch another glimpse of the aurora borealis on Wednesday night.

The Northern Lights were visible across parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.

The display was also spotted as far south as the north Midlands and mid Wales, although cloud cover and light pollution meant many of us missed the display.

However, the skies were clear enough in places for some stunning shots to be taken, here are some from around the UK.

The UK wasn’t the only place to enjoy the spectacular aurora, with Scandinavia, Canada and Alaska all getting in on the action too.

Aurora’s occur when charged particles from the sun interact with the earth’s atmosphere, lightning up the night ski.

The earth’s magnetic field funnels these charged particles towards the poles and that’s why high latitudes are often the only places to see auroras.

However, a large ‘explosion’ on the surface of the sun a few days ago spewed a huge amount of electronically charged.

If these ‘explosions’, or Coronal Mass Ejections (CME’s) to give them their proper term, are directed towards the earth, stunning auroras can be seen much further south than normal.

There is expected to be enough geomagnetic activity for the aurora to be seen again across northern areas, with the far north of Scotland most likely to catch a glimpse.

Skies should also become fairly clear this evening across much of Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, although cloud will increase in the north-west through the night.

Did you take any pictures of the aurora last night? Then why not upload them to our online photo gallery here.

Follow Chris Burton on ,
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