ONE of the most majestic natural sights to witness is the dazzling display of the Northern Lights.
But what causes the remarkable show and how can you see them in the UK?
Some Brits are lucky enough to see the Northern Lights thanks to the solar storm[/caption]
Where can I watch the Aurora Borealis in the UK?
Geomagnetic storms light up the sky and provide a stunning display of one of the seven natural wonders of the world – without having to leave the country.
Parts of the UK are expected to be able to see the natural wonder again on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
The solar storm hit at the start of the week, putting on a spectacular show in the sky for people in some areas on Monday, October 11, 2021.
But cloudy skies could disrupt the view in some areas.
The best places to observe the aurora borealis is in the countryside or a place with a good view of the northern horizon.
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What is the best time to see the aurora borealis in the UK?
The best time to see the green hue of the aurora borealis is late evening.
Those in Scotland seemed to get the clearest view on October 11, as streams of sky-watchers ventured outside to try and spot the stunning show.
- Read our Solar Storm live blog for the latest updates…
Many headed out at between 9pm and 11pm to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon.
According to the website Aurora Watch UK, this slot is the best time to observe the glow, and then again at around 2am.
The phenomenon is best observed on a cloud free evening[/caption]
What are the Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis, are the result of electrically charged particles from the sun, smashing into gaseous particles in our planet’s atmosphere.
This solar flare – a flash of increased brightness from the sun – is often joined by a coronal mass ejection – which is a huge expulsion of plasma from the sun’s outer layer.
It happens when a massive burst of material from the sun prompts a geomagnetic storm, which brings the aurora to lower latitudes, allowing it to be visible from Earth.
The solar storms cause bright, colourful dancing lights in white, green, pink and purple that illuminate the sky and are considered an incredible sight.
Colour variations occur when different types of gas particles collide with the charged particles. The most common colour for the aurora is green, which is created when oxygen molecules about 60 miles above the ground react with the particles, whereas nitrogen causes a blue or purple hue.
The lights are best witnessed around the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres and they are called the “Aurora Australis” or “southern lights” in the south.