Northern Lights expected to be visible across the UK

The Northern Lights are expected to be visible across much of the UK from tonight (November 9) and over the weekend, bringing a green haze to Britain's night skies.

Thursday, 9th November 2017, 5:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:08 am
Caption: A photo of the Northern Lights, taken from Dunnet Head in Scotland (Photo: Sam Flice via PA)

Caused by solar particles striking the Earth’s magnetic field, the Aurora Borealis is not usually visible this far south, but increased activity means a strengthened solar wind will bring the particles into contact with our atmosphere over a wider area.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the lights will be visible from around 9pm to 6am over the next few nights.

How to see the lights

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The best way to see the lights is to remove yourself from any brightly lit areas as best as possible, including cities and towns which can create a lot of light pollution.

Those further to the north will also have a better chance of spotting the aurora, with sightings less likely the further south you are.

Dr. Nathan Nathan Case, a physicist at Lancaster University and part of AuroraWatch UK, told the Mirror that solar activity was high enough for the aurora to be “even visible down in south Wales” last night.

“Fingers crossed it will be the same strength if it returns tonight,” he said.

Locations with a good view of the northern horizon, such as beaches, headlands or the tops of hills, will also have an advantage, with the lights occurring to the north-east of the UK.

Unfortunately, while the forecast for the aurora is good, the same can’t be said for the weather.

The Met Office reports that much of the country will experience heavy cloud over the next few nights.

For more information, including real-time updates on whether the Aurora Borealis will be visible in your area, head to