Stunning photos show Northern Lights put on spectacular display in the South West

  • Watch timelapse of the Northern Lights from Webbery Alverdiscott near Bideford.

The Northern Lights illuminated the sky across the country and were seen as far south as the Isles of Scilly on Sunday 23 April.

The lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, appeared in the night sky with many onlookers capturing pictures of the phenomenon.

Jason Ellway's photo shows purple and green lights dancing across Kit Hill in Cornwall.
Derek Godfrey got the Aurora Borealis over Great Bay, Isles of Scilly.
Jo-Shreeve enjoyed the show from her back garden in Stithians, Truro.

What are the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights can be explained as an interaction of the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field.

Known as the Aurora Borealis, the lights appear in the clear night sky as swirling rivers of greenish-blue light. They move in an unpredictable way and suddenly grow vivid.

Scientists say the conditions need to be just right for them to be visible. People are more likely to see Northern Lights on dark and clear nights with little light pollution.

Nick J captured this picture in Penzance.
Debbie caught the lights in Lynmouth, Devon.
The pillars of light really stands out in Sam Binding's shot over Clevedon Pier.

What causes the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights happen when disturbances on the sun pull on the Earth's magnetic field.

Electromagnetic waves launch electrons at high speeds into the Earth's atmosphere, which creates the aurora.

These storms are short-lived periods of high geomagnetic activity.

Mags took this photo over the sea from Carnweather towards Port Isaac.
Shaun Davey's shot shows the aurora from Exmoor.

Louise May filmed an amazing timelapse of last night's skies over Exmoor. It looks like she even manage to capture the Lyrids meteor shower in her footage.

  • Watch the Northern Lights over Exmoor