Northern Lights shine on Britain

24th Jan 2012
Written by: Macca Sherifi

Northern Lights shine on Britain

The Northern Lights delivered one of its best-ever performances yesterday with an awe-inspiring show over Ireland, Scotland and northern England.

The stunning sight was seen by thousands of people on Sunday night and early yesterday morning as the night sky was lit-up by an elegant emerald green.

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, were seen as far south as Cleveland, Cumbria, Northumberland and Yorkshire in England, as well as across the northern skies of Ireland and Scotland.

The Northern Lights are usually seen in Iceland and Norway but due to unusual solar activity the lights are being seen much further south.

Astronomers and scientists predict that in the coming weeks the solar light show will be its clearest in more than a decade due to a peak in solar activity, maybe even reaching London.

The Royal Observatory reported that the last recorded sight of the Northern Lights in London was at the start of the Second World War in 1939.

Robin Scagell, of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "It looks like we could be treated to another cosmic light show and so it is well worth watching the northern part of the heavens.

"It is a new moon at present so any aurora will show up better in a dark night sky."

The Northern Lights are a natural light display created by collisions of electrically-charged particles in the protective magnetic field around the Earth.

When the particles are carried towards the poles they react with ions in the atmosphere and the amazing light show is created in the sky. The sky is lit up with bright blues, greens, reds and yellows, creating one of the most amazing natural wonders.

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? Do have have any plans to go and see them on your gap year?

We recently reported that the Northern Lights would shine on Ireland, and it looks as if our prediction was right. Could we do it again?

Well make sure you keep an eye out because the Northern Lights are expected to hit again tonight and tomorrow morning. If you take any photos of the Northern Lights then make sure you send them into us at editor@gapyear.com.

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