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  1. ITV Report

Aurora sightings this week over the NW

Aurora over Peel, Isle of Man (Tuesday 7th November 2017, between18:15 and 20:00) Photo: DAVE CORKISH

Those with their finger on the pulse of the camera shutter release button will have been very excited on Tuesady night when the combination of strong solar winds and clear night skies allowed a brief window of opportunity over parts of the North West to see the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis to give it it's official name) occur when huge amounts of charged particles explode from the sun and react with the Earths magnetic field. As the charged particles collide with gas molecules in our planet's upper atmosphere the energy this gives off is then seen as a wonderful visual display of most commonly green and pink light in the night sky.

Aurora over Millom in South Cumbria, looking up the Duddon estuary to the Lakeland fells at 10.30pm Credit: KEITH CLARKE

There is potential for further aurora tonight (Thursday 9th November) but mainly for northern Scotland (Northern Isles, Western Isles, Caithness and Sutherland, and perhaps Moray and Aberdeenshire) due to elevated solar winds. Showery weather in these areas will mean large amounts of cloud at times, but some decent breaks should still be possible.

Aurora Watch UK is a service provided by Space Physicists at Lancaster University. You can also follow them on twitter. They will let you know when geomagnetic activity is heightened.