Northern Lights: Where in the UK you will be able to see another display of aurora borealis tonight

Also known as aurora borealis, the spectacle is usually a rarity but recent spikes in geomagnetic activity have contributed to an increase in visibility. Credit: Sophie Walker

Hues of luminescent pinks and greens lit the skies above the UK just days ago for what rate view of the aurora borealis - and the nation is set for another glimpse of the Northern Lights even sooner than expected.

Also known as aurora borealis, the spectacle is usually a rarity but recent spikes in geomagnetic activity have contributed to an increase in visibility.

Less than two weeks ago, the lights dazzled huge swaths of the UK - with the best visible in Whitley Bay on the north east coast, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Wokingham in Berkshire.

It was also spotted in Suffolk, Kent, Hampshire and Liverpool, and was even visible in parts of London.

The Met Office has confirmed that the display is not yet over and told ITV News there's a chance of some aurora visibility as early as Monday night in parts of the UK.

Where in the UK will the Northern Lights be visible from?

The weather forecaster said the phenomena will be seen most prominently in the "far north" and added "any viewing potential largely restricted to parts of northern Scotland and Northern Ireland".

But the lights could be captured by a camera by those in the north of England and Wales.

The Met Office noted that any visibility is likely to be significantly weaker than what was seen a few weekends ago, when auroras could be seen over the vast majority of the UK.

"Tonight, any visibility is likely much further north, with some breaks in the cloud likely aiding visibility," it said.

Why is the UK seeing glimpses of the Northern Lights?

The bands of pink and green light were seen across the UK and in parts of Europe last week after an extreme geomagnetic storm caused them to be more visible, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Aurora displays occur when charged particles from the sun, primarily electrons and protons, collide with gases in the Earth's atmosphere, typically oxygen and nitrogen.

These collisions emit light at various wavelengths, creating vibrant displays of colour in the sky, often appearing as curtains, arcs, or bands of light.

The sun is currently in the most active period of its 11-year cycle. The chances of aurora activity is expected to decline in the coming nights, the Met Office said.

The Northern Lights in Hertfordshire earlier this month. Credit: ITV News

Top viewing tips

Chris Page provided his tips for spotting the Aurora Borealis:

  • Look to the northern horizon: The aurora is drawn towards the polar regions of the Earth. As a result you might not be able to see it directly overhead, but as it happens so high in sky look towards the northern horizon where it's likely to be dancing.

  • You can see it with the naked eye but cameras tend to capture it better. This is because cameras can adapt to different wave lengths better than our eyes. Give yourself time to adjust, at least 10 minutes.

  • Find dark, open spaces: Seek out locations away from city lights and other sources of light pollution. Open fields, parks, or remote areas with unobstructed views of the northern horizon are ideal for aurora watching.

  • Be patient and persistent: Seeing the aurora requires patience and persistence, as it can be unpredictable and may not appear every night, even during periods of high activity. Stay flexible with your plans and be prepared to wait for hours if necessary.

  • Use long exposures for photography: If you're interested in photographing the aurora, use a camera with manual settings and a tripod to capture long exposures. Experiment with different exposure times and ISO settings to achieve the best results.

  • Stay up late: Auroras are often most active in the late evening to early morning hours, so plan to stay up late or wake up early for the best chance of seeing a spectacular display.

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