Home Page >> WORLD 8 October 2015, Thursday 10:25

Northern Lights put on spectacular show for parts of UK overnight

Northern Lights put on spectacular show for parts of UK overnightThe Northern Lights put on spectacular show for parts of the UK overnight.

The phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis was seen across large parts of Scotland, northern England and Wales.

It is caused when solar particles are thrown out into space and collide with the Earth's magnetic field.

Forecasters say the current positions of the Earth and Sun may give us a number chances to glimpse the lights over the next few weeks.

As well as the time of year, a "coronal hole" near the Sun's equator had aligned with the Earth and was sending a burst of high-speed solar winds which buffet the planet, disturbing the magnetic field. 

A Met Office spokesman said: "We are now in a period, lasting a few weeks, where these two factors are working together to increase the chances of geomagnetic disturbances, which in turn bring with them the aurora.

"The strength of the disturbance directly relates to how far south the aurora is visible, or how far north if you are in the southern hemisphere, and of course you need clear skies to see it.

"The season of the year has an influence.

"The science behind this is not fully understood, but the two equinoctial periods in spring and autumn tend to produce an increase in aurora compared with winter and summer."

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