Northern Lights could be visible over UK this weekend

Impressive auroras seen in the skies over Britain on Friday expected to become more widespread

May Bulman
Saturday 09 September 2017 14:54
Stunning aurora views caused by 'very unusual' phenomenon, say scientists

The Northern Lights could be visible over parts of the UK this weekend, after the sun released a large solar flare believed to be the biggest in a decade.

People in high-altitude regions will have the best chance of seeing the displays, following impressive auroras in the skies on Friday night that are expected to become more widespread.

Alistair McLean, managing director of The Aurora Zone said due to an expected magnetic storm, the Northern Lights could be viewed “well beyond” the usual northern boundaries.

“Following the magnitude of the recent solar flare, we are anticipating widespread Aurora storms,” he said.

“The CMEs’ arrival is expected to trigger a G3 magnetic storm in the atmosphere which, in turn, will create more prolific Northern Lights displays in northern territories and maybe some sightings in areas well beyond the usual boundaries.

“It is, therefore, a possibility that the Northern Lights could even be viewed in southern England.”

Both the Space Weather Prediction Centre and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have said “outstanding” displays will occur.

The Northern Lights will be visible to the north-east of the UK, so people wanting to see them are advised to make sure they have a good view of the northern horizon.

Clear and dark skies are required for the Lights to be seen, so it is also advised to get as far from towns and cities as possible and to head to beaches, headlands or the top of hills.

It is best to see the lights in a “dark sky location“ during the peak hours of roughly 9pm and 1am.

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