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UK News

‘Best light show on Earth’: Britons treated to Northern Lights phenomenon


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Britons were treated to “the best light show on Earth” on Wednesday night as a solar storm and clear skies resulted in a stunning display of the Northern Lights across the country.

Nature’s dazzling light display is a consequence of solar activity – collisions of charged particles in the solar wind colliding with molecules in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Also known as Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are usually visible in high-latitude regions closer to the Arctic such as Scandinavia and typically appear as curtains, rays, spirals or dynamic flickers covering the entire sky in pale green, pink, shades of red, yellow, blue and violet hues.

Northern lights / Aurora over Cumbria
Taken with Permission from @ kathelcymru Must Credit - @ kathelcymru Caption Reads More #aurora from the #edenvalley #cumbria tonight. Love where I live, soon joined by most of the village all standing in awe at the best light show on earth! Awesome to share together! #NorthernLights
Image: Stargazers across Britain shared their pictures on social media. Pic: kathelcymru/Twitter

But stargazers across the UK were treated to a captivating display overnight.

Many captured pictures of the vivid green, red and other coloured lights streaking through the night sky – with people living in Scotland to as far south as Devon sharing them on social media.

One Twitter user from Cumbria tweeted some photos of the display, writing: “Love where I live, soon joined by most of the village all standing in awe at the best light show on earth! Awesome to share together!”

Another said: “Well that is unexpected (hence the poor quality pic)! An Aurora show from the house right now!!!”

More on Arctic

Others braved the cold outdoors to get a good view of the display, with one Twitter user writing: “Watching the Aurora Borealis with some of our fellow villagers tonight. Above Croglin, Cumbria.”

“The Northern Lights were visible over Devon this evening – this was taken at about 2100 near Crediton,” wrote another.

The Met Office predicted the visibility of the northern lights this week, due to a geomagnetic storm.

There have been more geomagnetic storms this autumn than normal, with Britons also enjoying vivid light displays on Halloween last week.

The flare – officially known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) – left the sun last Thursday and arrived as Earth entered a period of increased solar activity.

The CME “was much slower and weaker than expected”, the Met Office said, despite being an X1-class flare – the strongest there is.

Solar activity has been observed rising and falling naturally every 11 years or so, with astronomers believing we are now in the early years of a new busy period.

A new family of sunspots, discovered on the side of the sun facing Earth last year, unleashed the biggest solar flare scientists had seen since 2017.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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