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Northern Lights to appear as far south as the Midlands tonight in geomagnetic storm
4 November 2021, 15:25 | Updated: 4 November 2021, 15:39
Stargazers could catch glimpse of the Northern Lights across UK skies tonight, the Met Office has said.
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The rare natural phenomenon was spotted as far south as Devon last night after a coronal mass ejection saw material from the Sun enter interplanetary space.
The material led to a disturbance in the Earth's magnetic field and ionosphere meaning the aurora borealis was visible to the naked eye over the UK last night and with conditions continuing tonight, lucky stargazers could be in with another chance at spotting the lights.
The Met Office state that seeing the aurora borealis across the UK is a "very rare occurrence" with expert Krista Hammond saying: "As was predicted by the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre, a coronal mass ejection impacted with the Earth yesterday.
A coronal mass ejection (CME) from the #sun occurred yesterday and this gives a chance of #AuroraBorealis sightings tonight 🔭— Met Office (@metoffice) November 3, 2021
Northern areas have a chance of seeing these #NorthernLights, with a lower chance in North Wales and northern England given clear skies #SpaceWeather pic.twitter.com/FXuaMOmeuh
"The resulting strong geomagnetic storm meant the Northern Lights were visible across large areas of the UK overnight last night.
"We've had reports that the aurora could even be seen in some central areas of the UK, which is possible when a storm of this magnitude impacts the Earth."
She said the storm left the sun on Tuesday and hit Earth last night, as predicted.
"Further geomagnetic storms are possible tonight and into the early hours tomorrow morning, due to the ongoing effects of the coronal mass ejection," she said.
"This means there is the potential for further sightings of the Northern Lights overnight, although there will be spells of patchy cloud over Scotland which could limit visibility in places."
According to the official Met Office space forecast, the auroral oval is expected to be enhanced after a ‘severe’ geomagnetic storm on November 4.
An incredible display of the Northern Lights last night from Sycamore Gap. @FujifilmX_UK @nationaltrust @StormHour @Schafernaker @TamithaSkov @_SpaceWeather_ @Lauratobin1 @bbcweather @itvweather @Aurora_Alerts @AP pic.twitter.com/NRqts5fADo— Steven Lomas (@StevenLomas10) November 4, 2021
The forecast states: "[The] Aurora may be visible across Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and perhaps parts of the Midlands, Norfolk and North Wales with the naked-eye at first where skies are clear."
But those south could also have a chance of spotting the dazzling green, pink, red, yellow, blue and purple lights dancing across the skies after sightings in Devon last night.
To have the best chance at spotting the lights, you need a clear night with no cloud cover and a dark location with no light pollution.