Northern Lights time: When to look into the UK sky tonight for the aurora borealis



    The Northern Lights are a rare treat for the UK public, but a solar storm has created the perfect conditions for the aurora borealis across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England. It’s not entirely clear when the Northern Lights will be visible in the UK skies, but there is a broad time range to look into the night sky.

    The aurora borealis is caused by solar activity, combined with the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Charged particles in spaces collide with the upper atmosphere, creating a stunning light show.

    The Northern Lights are usually spotted in the higher latitudes – around the Arctic, for example.

    But, a particularly strong solar storm – as well as clear skies – meant the light display was visible in some parts of the UK on Wednesday this week (November 3).

    READ MORE: UK stargazers to be treated to Northern Lights show tonight

    The Met Office has confirmed that some parts of the UK might spot the Northern Lights on Thursday night.

    Central parts of England are more likely to catch a glimpse of the light show, according to the Met Office’s space weather expert, Krista Hammond.

    “As was predicted by the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre, a coronal mass ejection impacted with the Earth yesterday,” she said.

    “The resulting strong geomagnetic storm meant the Northern Lights were visible across large areas of the UK overnight last night.

    “We’ve had reports that the aurora could even be seen in some central areas of the UK, which is possible when a storm of this magnitude impacts the Earth.

    “This means there is the potential for further sightings of the Northern Lights overnight, although there will be spells of patchy cloud over Scotland which could limit visibility in places.”

    The Lake District, Midlands, and Norfolk are the best places to see the Northern Lights on Thursday night.

    But, the aurora borealis could also be visible in Scotland and North Wales.

    You’re more likely to see the Northern Lights if the weather conditions are perfect, however.

    You’ll want to find somewhere where the sky is particularly dark and away from the bright lights of the city centre.

    Cloud cover blocks the view of the lights, so you’ll need to hope for a clear night sky.

    When you’ve found your perfect spot, it’s worth facing the northern horizon for the best chances of spotting the aurora borealis.


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