Will the Northern Lights be visible tonight in the UK?

30 March 2023, 20:08

The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, previously glowing on the horizon at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay on the North East coast
The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, previously glowing on the horizon at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay on the North East coast. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The Northern Lights are set to be visible across the UK tonight, with a wave of colour filling the sky.

Forecasters said the aurora would make an appearance following the revelation of a 'hole' in the Sun's atmosphere.

The hole - estimated to be 20 times the size of the Earth - was spotted by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory and is expected to have triggered 'minor solar storms'.

Will the Northern Lights be visible tonight in the UK?

Due to the hole in the Sun's atmosphere, experts have predicted that a light display may also be visible tomorrow - providing there are clear skies.

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."

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Where are the best places to see the Northern Lights?

The polar lights will be more visible in rural areas as they have less light pollution.

Displays are most often seen further north, with Scotland set to get the best view of the spectacle.

However, the dim colours tend to brighten over the course of several hours.

What's the best time to see the Northern Lights in the UK tonight?

The lights are set to appear at some point between 7pm on Thursday and 4am on Friday.

The display could even go into the early hours of April 1 in some northern parts of Scotland.

It is the result of electrically charged particles from the Sun, smashing into particles in our planet's atmosphere.

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