Northern Lights to be visible in UK again tonight after rare display above Yorkshire

People in Yorkshire may have another chance tonight to see the Northern Lights, says the Met Office.

Forecasters announced the night sky phenomenon would be visible much further south than usual last night due to the particular weather conditions. The lights were spotted in several places across the UK – and the Met Office says they will appear again tonight (Monday, February 27).

The Met Office said the lights are visible further south than usual due to a coronal hole high speed stream arriving combined with a “rather fast coronal mass ejection”. The lights were seen on Sunday night in Shropshire, Cambridgeshire, North Wales and more locations.

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The Aurora Borealis is caused by molecules in the Earth’s upper atmosphere colliding with charged particles in solar wind. The Annulus is a ring that centres on the magnetic pole of the earth, where these particles flow into.

When there is a coronal mass ejection, the Annulus can expand and mean the Northern Lights are seen further south – this is when we can see them in the UK. You’re more likely to get a better view of the lights the further north you are still, and the clearer the sky is.

You’re also more likely to see the lights away from light pollution in more remote areas. The Met Office says the lights can extend from 50 miles to 400 miles above the earth’s surface.

Space Physicists at Lancaster University monitor the chances of the Aurora Borealis being seen and post them to their twitter account @aurorawatchuk. Last night saw a ‘red alert’ around 9.30pm suggesting the Aurora Borealis was likely to be seen – and the alert remains at amber today.

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