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11th May 2024

Expert gives top tips for seeing the Northern Lights tonight

Charlie Herbert

tips for seeing northern lights

There’s another chance to see the Northern Lights tonight

A meteorologist has shared his top tips for seeing the Northern Lights tonight, with the UK set to witness another incredible spectacle.

On Friday night (May 10), Brits across the country were treated to a dazzling display 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.

Inevitably though, there were some who missed the lights. But if you were one of these unfortunate folk, then fear not, as the lights are set to be visible on Saturday night as well.

ITV weatherman Chris Page said the geomagnetic storms which caused the phenomenon will persist into Saturday, meaning the Northern Lights “could be visible again cloud permitting.”

The weather expert has also revealed some top tips if you want to maximise your chances of seeing the lights tonight:

  • Look to the northern horizon: His first piece of advice is to look to the northern horizon. Page explained that the aurora is “drawn towards the polar regions of the Earth”, so you should “look towards the northern horizon where it’s likely to be dancing.”
  • Use a camera: The weatherman also said that cameras will capture the lights better than the naked eye, because “cameras can adapt to different wave lengths better than our eyes.”
  • Let your eyes adjust: You should also give yourself a good 10 minutes to let your eyes adjust to the darkness of the night if you want to get the best view of the display.
  • Get to a dark, open space: Your location will play a big factor as well. The lights will be at their brightest in dark, open spaces away from any light pollution. So, if you can, get yourself to a park or field.
  • Use long exposure: If you’re trying to take some pictures of the aurora, you should use a camera with manual settings and a tripod. Page said: “Experiment with different exposure times and ISO settings to achieve the best results.”
  • Have patience and stay up late: The reality is, you’re probably going to need to have some persistence to see the lights. They’re unpredictable, and there’s no guarantee the lights will even appear. The best time to see them is usually between 10pm and 2am, so you’ll likely need to stay awake pretty late to boost your chances.

Good luck!

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