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Northern Lights to be visible in the UK tonight

Gregory Robinson

Published 
| Last updated 

Northern Lights to be visible in the UK tonight

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Reiss McGuire / Alamy Stock Photo

Stargazers are in for a treat because you’ll be able to see the Northern Lights in our skies this evening.

Last month, Brits were given a wonderful light show with the Aurora Borealis visible in areas like Kent and Cornwall on numerous nights.

After a solar flare from the Sun collided with the Earth’s atmosphere, people in the UK were able to see a colourful show in the skies across the country.

The Northern Lights pictured on the horizon at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay on the North East coast. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The Northern Lights pictured on the horizon at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay on the North East coast. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
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But just in case you weren’t lucky enough to see the light show last month, the universe has got you covered.

The Met Office has confirmed that the Northern Lights will be visible again on tonight (30 March) and Friday night (31 March). As long as the skies are clear, people as far north as Scotland should be able to see them.

However, those in the south may struggle to see the Northern Lights this week, but it’s still worth keeping your eyes peeled just in case.

This week’s light display comes as the result of a ‘hole’ - known as a coronal hole - that has appeared on the Sun’s surface which has generated solar storms with winds at almost 500 miles per second heading towards Earth.

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This coronal hole is a dark region in the atmosphere that is cooler than the area surrounding it. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spotted it and recorded its size as being 20 times larger than Earth.

The Northern Lights in Sweden. Credit: Raymond Davies / Alamy Stock Photo
The Northern Lights in Sweden. Credit: Raymond Davies / Alamy Stock Photo

Krista Hammond, from the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre, said: "Minor solar storms are possible on Thursday and Friday night, which means aurora sightings would be possible in northern Scotland under clear skies.

"As this is a fairly minor solar storm, the auroras aren't expected to be visible much further south on this occasion."

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Daniel Verscharen, Associate Professor in Space Plasma Physics at University College London, said: “Coronal holes are regions from where fast solar wind is launched into space.

Areas without air pollution are the best place to see the Northern Lights. Credit: Peo Möller / Alamy Stock Photo
Areas without air pollution are the best place to see the Northern Lights. Credit: Peo Möller / Alamy Stock Photo

“Fast solar wind has speeds of about 700 or 800km per second and is thus almost twice as fast as the average solar wind.

“This particular coronal hole is of interest to us because it has pointed towards Earth - this means that it has released fast solar wind towards the Earth.”

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However, forecasters are not expecting any major damage to occur from these winds.

According to the Met Office, the best conditions to view the Northern Lights are when the sky is dark and there aren’t many clouds. The Northern Lights will be best viewed in areas devoid of light pollution and especially in remote regions facing the northern horizon.

Topics: Weather

Gregory Robinson
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