Welsh skies illuminated as northern lights put on stunning display

  • James Darby captured this timelapse over the Rhigos Mountain

Skies over Wales were illuminated in stunning colours overnight as the northern lights put on a stunning display.

Also known as aurora borealis, usually appear over Scotland and part of northern England, but people across Wales also got a glimpse of the memorising colours.

Chris Parry captured the purple and green sky over Porthmadog:

  • When and where are you most likely to see the Northern Lights?

According to the Met Office, the UK is south of where the natural aurora belt occurs (Norway/Iceland/Greenland), it takes a severe or extreme geomagnetic storm to bring the belt southwards directly over the UK which is a very rare occurrence.

This is a very rare occurrence. During more moderate to strong storms, the Aurora borealis often moves southwards across southern Iceland or towards the Faeroes. These auroras can be faintly visible from the UK because they occur at high altitudes.A recent poll revealed that witnessing the aurora borealis is the most in-demand experience on UK travellers’ bucket lists.

Sitting proudly at the top of the ultimate traveller’s bucket list is seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in the northern hemisphere near the Arctic Circle.

The lights can produce a spectacular light of colours from pink, purple and green and if skies are clear, can be seen over the UK.

The distance to the aurora belt, compounded by light pollution or twilight, means it can be difficult for the naked eye to see the phenomenon, the Met Office says - and it is often portrayed much brighter in pictures than it appears to the naked eye.

Rika Smith captured this over south Wales Credit: Rika Smith

Tips for seeing the aurora?

  • You need a clear night with no cloud cover

  • Find a dark location with no light pollution

  • Look toward the northern horizon