Is tonight your last chance to see the Northern Lights in the North East?

The Aurora Borealis has been seen from South Tyneside on recent nights over Souter Lighthouse. Credit: Liam McCormick

Recent displays of the Northern Lights over the UK could be coming to an end tonight.

According to the Met Office, geomagnetic activity is expected to ease throughout Tuesday 28 February, but viewing the aurora could still be possible in northern areas.

It is rare to see the phenomenon across so much of the country, with places as far south as Cornwall getting glimpses of the natural wonder since Sunday 26 February.

It is expected that this recent activity will last into the early hours of 1 March, but geomagnetic activity will not be as strong as previous evenings, and displays of the northern lights will not be as vivid as spectators have seen in recent days. They are also unlikely to be seen as far south.

Andrew Charlton took this stunning picture during a flight to Newcastle from Colorado. Credit: Andrew Charlton

The Northern Lights happen when electrically charged particles from space enter the Earth's upper atmosphere at high speed, and recent activity over the UK was the result of a solar storm.

After tonight it is expected the chance of seeing the aurora will fade to background levels.

The prediction from the Met Office follows two days of brilliant displays across the North East skies.

While cloudier skies are forecast for tonight, it might not be the last chance to see the such displays.

The geomagnetic storms which cause the Aurora, go through an 11-year cycle relating to the Sun.

These are measured in terms of how active the Sun's magnetic fields is; as the field changes so does the amount of activity on the Sun's surface.

Displays of the Northern Lights during this cycle are normally the biggest and brightest in the years leading up to and shortly following the solar maximum.

Currently, solar activity around the sun is at its most active since 2014. Therefore, the solar maximum is expected to be in 2025, which sightings of the Northern Lights likely to become more regular over the coming years.

Storms are also usually more frequent around the equinoxes which occur in March-April and September-October.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...