Northern Lights continue for the UK

There could be another chance to see the Northern Lights tonight (18 March) in the UK, but we are not expecting sightings to be as widespread as last night.

The lights are the result of the biggest solar storm in 11 years. There were reports of sightings as far east as Norfolk and as far south as Somerset.

Elsewhere areas of Canada reported power outages affecting their electricity grid and satellite operators took mitigating action to protect satellites from the effects of the solar storm.

The storm was caused by a large explosion on the Sun on Sunday throwing huge amounts of magnetically charged particles into space, called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).

As the particles travel towards Earth they interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and increase global geomagnetic activity, which releases energy into the atmosphere giving off light in the process.

Called the Northern Lights or the aurora borealis, the light is visible in parts of the globe in darkness. The Northern Lights get stronger and more colourful the further north you are.

The CME arrived at Earth in the early hours of Tuesday morning with the disturbance reaching a level of G4 on the 0 to 5 NOAA geomagnetic space weather scales last night.

There is a chance the aurora borealis will be visible again tonight but mainly in Scotland and Northern Ireland depending on cloud cover. Check cloud cover in your area via our dedicated pages.  See the British Geological Survey  web pages for tips on how best to see the aurora.

Below are some of the pictures you shared on Twitter


This entry was posted in Met Office News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.