Saturday, July 13, 2024

Northern Lights Make Lively Display In The U.K.

If you have a clear sky where you live it could be worth looking up over the coming nights – as chances of seeing the aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights, have increased in the UK.

This is not only because nights are longer now we have passed the autumn equinox but also because the Sun is also reaching the peak of its 11-year cycle, due to be at the end of 2024 or early 2025.

That means an increase in the number of sunspots – massive fields of magnetic pressure on the surface of the Sun.

These in turn erupt as a coronal mass ejection, or CME, which is when plasma is expelled from the Sun. And if that is pointed in the direction of Earth, it sends charged particles via solar winds toward our atmosphere.

The charged particles interact with oxygen and nitrogen in our atmosphere to create the colours of the aurora we are all familiar with.

Auroras have already been seen in Scotland and in parts of England including North Yorkshire and as far south as Herefordshire.

They were spotted on Sunday night, as pictures from our community of BBC Weather Watchers show, with luminous greens, fiery reds and oranges. as well as teal and purple seen dancing across the sky.

Moderate activity is expected over the next two nights, so if you’re outside try to spot them – and have your camera ready!

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