Des Coleman: Aurora Borealis or the Northern lights you can’t help but be transfixed by its beauty

  • ITV News Central Weather Presenter Des Coleman explains what the Northern lights are, and why we could see them in the Midlands

Whether you call it the Aurora Borealis or the Northern lights you can’t help but betransfixed by its beauty.

A magical scene where solar winds traveling at over a million miles an hour interacts with the atmosphere leaving you agog - I am agog! I am aghast, is Marius in love at last.

That’s a line from Les Mis. Michael Ball played the part back in the 80s. (I’mdesperate to talk about Musical Theatre but I won’t.)

Seeing the lights does it leave you in awe of its beauty. But what are they exactly?

Well simply, they are charged particles from the Sun that are captured by the Earth's magnetic field which is why they are drawn towards the south and North poles.

The southern lights are called Aroura Australis.

Highgate Common, Stourbridge Credit: Amanda Whitehouse

As they smash into atoms and molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere they heat up, the result of which is that undulating photonic pattern of greens, purples, and reds dancing and moonwalking across our skies.

On top of that, across our patch we’ve been very fortunate as the atmosphere rarely allowsus a look.

So, if you have seen it without flying to overseas then boy oh boy have you beenlucky.

Enjoy, as tomorrow is the first day of Meteorological spring… Des