Northern Lights: 'Incredible' start to Aurora season

A stunning show of the Northern lights over the refuge hut on the Holy Island causeway in Northumberland. Credit: Owen Humpreys/PA

Photographers across the region were out to capture their first images of the Northern Lights this autumn.

The natural phenomenon, which can be seen most often around the Equinox and Solstice, in March/April and September/October, were spotted as far south as Cornwall last night.

Photographer Owen Humphreys, who captured the aurora near Holy Island just after midnight, said it was an "incredible start" to the season.

The stunning show was captured elsewhere in the region, including a popular photography spot Sycamore Gap, on Hadrian's Wall near Hexham and in the Yorkshire Dales.

The best conditions to view the lights are when the sky is dark and clear of any clouds.

Ideally, the lights will be best viewed away from any light pollution, in remote areas, facing the northern horizon - north-facing coasts produce some of the best viewing locations.

What are the Northern Lights?

The colourful aurora is caused by charged particles from the sun colliding with molecules in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

The charged particles are a result of a phenomenon known as coronal mass ejection (CME) – which is a sudden release of magnetised plasma from the sun’s corona, the outermost part of its atmosphere.

Tips for viewing the Northern Lights

  • Seek out a dark place

  • Find a cloud-free sky

  • In general, looking to the north should give you the best chance of seeing the lights

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