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11th May 2024

Where you can see the Northern Lights tonight in the UK

Charlie Herbert

northern lights tonight

There could be another chance to the see the Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights are set to be visible in the UK again tonight, giving stargazers another opportunity to see the incredible phenomenon.

Brits across the country were treated to a dazzling display on Friday (May 10) as the lights – which are also known as the Aurora Borealis – could be seen as far south as London.

This was thanks to a huge geomagnetic storm which hit Earth in the form of four coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the Sun.

For anyone who missed out on seeing the Northern Lights, there could be another chance tonight (Saturday, May 11).

Where will the lights be visible on Saturday?

The lights were visible in the UK because of a severe geomagnetic storm, which is one of the biggest in two decades.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center classified the storm as a level G4 event, the second highest level possible, the first time it’s issued this warning since 2005.

And the storm is going to last into Saturday evening, meaning the Northern Lights could be visible to many Brits again tonight, although it won’t be to the same extent as yesterday.

TV News meteorologist and weather presenter Chris Page said: “Activity is expected to slowly decline, however there is a good chance (cloud permitting) you’ll be able to see it again tonight.”

Meanwhile, Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said conditions on Saturday evening will be similar to Friday, making it possible for the lights to be visible again.

However, he added that the exact locations where they could be seen are still unknown.

He told ITV: “We still have to work out some details on where exactly that will be.”

Everyone’s favourite scientist TV scientist, Professor Brian Cox also said there is a “good chance” the UK will see another display on Saturday night.

The best time to spot the Northern Lights is usually between 10pm and 2am.

What causes the Northern Lights?

The aurora borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights, occur when electrically-charged particles are given off by solar storms and eventually collide with the Earth’s atmosphere.

Increased solar flare activity sends out electrically charged particles from the sun which become trapped in by the Earth’s magnetic field.

Once trapped, the particles then heat up atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere by smashing into them, resulting in the bright colours we know as the Northern Lights.

The lights are usually visible from countries closest to the Arctic, such as Canada, Iceland and Norway.

But when there is particularly large amount of solar activity, they can be visible further south than usual – such as from northern parts of the UK.

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