Aurora borealis: Spectacular Northern Lights display across Norfolk and Suffolk

The aurora borealis was spotted across many parts of the country including Blakeney in Norfolk Credit: Brad Damms

The northern lights illuminated the skies on Sunday night with the Met Office confirming sightings across the country.

It said the natural phenomenon, also known as aurora borealis, was visible in many part of the UK including the east of England.

Social media posts show that Norfolk and Suffolk had some of the best views, with pictures posted in Happisburgh, Blakeney, Wells-next-the-Sea and Shingle Street.

The Aurora Borealis over Happisburgh, Norfolk Credit: Alison Cavanagh

Professor Don Pollacco, department of physics at the University of Warwick, said the phenomenon was caused by “the interaction of particles coming from the sun, the solar wind, with the Earth’s atmosphere – channelled to the polar regions by the Earth’s magnetic field".

Prof Pollacco added: “It’s actually a bit like iron filings and the field of a bar magnetic.

“The solar wind contains more particles when there are sun spots, as these are regions on the sun’s surface where the magnetic field is interacting with the plasma in the sun, and the particles can be released.

The colourful skies above Wells-next-the-Sea during the aurora borealis Credit: Steven Attew

“Once the particles are channelled into the Earth’s atmosphere they interact with molecules and have distinctive colours (eg oxygen molecules produce green light, nitrogen red light etc) and patterns such as light emissions that look like curtains or spotlights.

“These shapes change quickly over timescales of minutes/seconds.”

The Northern Lights are usually seen in Scandinavia or northern Scotland.

The Northern Lights were seen in Shingle Street, Suffolk Credit: Sarah Clarke

The beautiful purple skies over Ostend on Norfolk as the Northern Lights appeared over many parts of the UK Credit: Melissa Butler

The Aurora Borealis during a bonfire party. Taken just before 9pm on 4 November from Stanton near Bury St Edmunds. Credit: Jackie Gillman-Dace

Snetterton about 7.30pm on 5 November. Credit: Laura Rayner

Happisburgh on 5 November Credit: Dawn Mountain

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