Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Scotland the place to see Northern Lights, says expert

People in Scotland will have the best chance of witnessing the Northern Lights tonight, an expert said today.

A series of huge explosions on the Sun has sent waves of supercharged particles hurtling towards the Earth.

The spectacular light show is caused by the particles clashing with the Earth's magnetic field.

Denmark, Germany and America have all reported clear sightings of the Northern Lights earlier this week and hopes were raised of a spectacular show across large parts of northern Britain tonight.

However, the chances of seeing the natural phenomenon across Yorkshire, Lancashire and other parts of the UK appear to have diminished, although northern Scotland remains the best place.

Professor Mike Kosch, an aurora expert at the University of Lancaster, said: "I would say there is a 10% chance for the UK if conditions are right. Northern Scotland should have the best chance.

"It is the first time in several years the UK has the opportunity to see the aurora.

"We really need major solar activity for us to see it in the UK. Norway and other Scandinavian countries regularly see it, but not so often here. Someone saw it in Stockholm last night."

But the professor said cloud cover and a lighter night sky because of the summer also diminished the chances further.