Space weather brings Northern Lights to UK

You may be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the northern lights in Scotland, and if you are really lucky in northern England and Northern Ireland, late Friday night into Saturday morning. The aurora borealis is caused as a result of activity on the surface of the sun.

Occasionally there are large explosions on the Sun and huge amounts of magnetically charged particles are thrown out into space (Coronal Mass Ejections). If these particles travel towards Earth they interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and increase global geomagnetic activity. The increased activity releases energy into the atmosphere giving off light in the process, which we call the Northern Lights or the aurora borealis.

There are currently two Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) en route to Earth. The first should arrive tonight (Thursday night) giving the earth’s atmosphere a glancing blow, the second is likely to arrive later on Friday. Their combined effect increases the chance of an aurora borealis event Friday night/Saturday morning, particularly at high latitudes in Scotland.

To view the Northern Lights you are best finding a dark place away from street lights. You will need a cloud-free sky and although there will be some cloud and localised fog patches around this Friday night there should also be some clear skies too. So there is a chance of catching a glimpse of the lights. Your best chance of sighting the aurora will be around midnight.

X-Class Flare erupting from The Sun. This event led to an Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejection


You can sign-up to receive aurora borealis alerts from the British Geological Survey when there is a chance for aurora activity when there is a chance for aurora activity or tell everyone about your sightings using GeoSocial – Aurora

Keep an eye on the Met Office forecasts for the latest information.

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5 Responses to Space weather brings Northern Lights to UK

  1. iikk66 says:

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  2. nuwurld says:

    Hi Met.

    Not quite a Carrington event. But hey we don’t want one!

    If I could, seeing as most of what happens around here is influenced by solar system changes, I’d like to enlighten a few who might pass by.

    Feel free to correct me Met where I step our of line.

    This summer of 2014 we sea global temperatures at a standstill for just short of 18years. The trend ‘indistinguishable’ from zero.

    Arctic sea ice has stayed at the same level as last year (45% increase from minimum) in extent but grown thicker and stronger where it didn’t melt last year. Extent the same, volume slightly increased.

    As for Antarctic sea ice, well, for most of the year it has been setting new records for maximum extent. Today some data sets are showing an all time recorded maximum extent.

    Globally sea ice is around normal for the instrumental time which is unexplainable in an ‘unprecedentedly’ warm world.

    This solar maximum is now categorically the weakest in over 100years and the 11year cycle, broken in 2007 sets this as a long, cool solar decline.

    Ice will soon return to the Arctic along with continued growth in the Antarctic. Soon we will feel the impact of solar reduction.

    Remember solar energy is 99.99% of energy on Earth. Don’t deny the obvious.

    Regards, Geoff

  3. nuwurld says:

    Yes, confirmed, Antarctic sea ice at all time record high at maximum extent. Antarctic extent the same as last year but greater volume.

    The tide is turning Met. So many signatures saying this ‘warming’ is due to the ‘heat trapping’ of ‘greenhouse gases’.

    There is only a certain proximity before the proverbial hits the fan.

  4. nuwurld says:

    Met 7 records set in 7 days of maximum sea ice consecutive by Antarctic sea ice. Has the Antarctic failed to read your public statement that this warming is due to man?

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