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Aurora Borealis dances across northern latitude skies

The Northern Lights seen from the village of Taivalkoski in Finland. Photo: Jaakko Heikka - korpijaakko.wordpress.com

An impressive display of Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) was seen in the skies over northern latitudes this weekend.

A solar eruption on Friday resulted in increased intensity of charged solar particles driven to Earth, triggering geomagnetic activity and amplifying the Northern Lights over the weekend.

Twitter updates indicated intense colour displays were seen across starry skies of northern states of America, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, parts of Scotland and to end St Patrick's Day - some areas of Ireland.

Last night was particularly active and colourful - but thick cloud across across much of northern Britain and Ireland meant restricted visibility.

Even though the solar particles were released on Friday, according to NASA, they can take up to three days to reach Earth. Another solar eruption is expected tonight, meaning there's a chance of seeing the rare lights again tomorrow or Wednesday night.

Autumn and Spring are the best times of year to see the Northern Lights - around the equinox which is this Wednesday (when night and day become equal length). This is when the sun is directly over the equator and the lights are likely to appear the strongest.