THE NORTHERN Lights will be visible in the UK tonight for the first time in about 11 years, but where can you catch a glimpse of the stunning phenomenon?
The Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis, are a natural phenomenon that causes curtains of coloured light in the night sky as a result of solar activity and coronal mass ejection colliding with magnetic fields. The UK is south of Norway, Iceland and Greenland, where the natural aurora belt occurs, so it takes an extreme geomagnetic storm to bring the belt over the UK. The Sun goes through an 11-year cycle from solar minimum to solar maximum and back again, and it just so happens minor geomagnetic activity could light up the sky in green and purple lights over the UK tonight. This website reveals the best places to see the aurora borealis in the UK tonight, according to the National Trust.
The aurora borealis may be visible in the UK between 9pm and 11pm tonight, thanks to a rare geomagnetic storm.
Alex Beresford, GMB weather presenter predicted in a tweet this morning that we may be able to see the Northern Lights from the UK tonight.
He said: “There’s a chance to see the aurora tonight, more so in the north.
“Lots of solar activity and a release of plasma from the sun is set to collide with earth’s atmosphere in this beautiful light display.”
The Sun goes through an 11-year solar cycle, from solar minimum, through solar maximum and back to solar minimum.
The Met Office explained: “Solar maximum occurred in early 2014 so we are now in the declining phase of the solar cycle.
“During this phase the position of coronal holes on the Sun’s equator give rise to high-speed solar wind streams that buffet the Earth, disturbing the Earth’s magnetic field and increasing the likelihood of auroras.”
Seeing the aurora borealis in the UK is a very rare occurrence, but it often moves southwards across southern Iceland or towards the Faroes.
These auroras can be faintly visible from the UK because they occur at high altitudes.
Not everyone will be lucky enough to see the stunning event tonight, though.
Mr Beresford warned it may be too cloudy to see the northern lights and it is more likely in the North of the UK, such as in Scotland and. “Brinkwire Summary News”.