Northern Lights: Huge solar flare creates night-sky spectacular

Aurora Borealis is caused by eruptions on the surface of the Sun

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The Independent Online

Skygazers have been treated to another spectacular display of the Northern Lights over the skies of Britain.

Increased solar activity meant that people in the Midlands and the North had the chance of catching the colourful phenomenon in the early hours, the Met Office said – and there were reports of sightings as far east as Norfolk and as far south as Somerset. The best viewings were in the darkness of rural areas away from the pollution of towns and cities.

The celestial display of the aurora borealis is caused by eruptions on the surface of the Sun and recent activity has been unexpectedly strong.


Large explosions on the Sun sometime on Sunday threw huge amounts of magnetically charged particles out into space, which reached Earth in the early hours of yesterday.

The coronal mass ejection triggered a severe geomagnetic storm earlier this week, prompting forecasters to predict possible sightings.

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said: “It was the biggest solar flare that has come to Earth in the last 19 to 20 years. There were reds and greens that lit up the sky.”