Northern Lights shine on Ireland

The Northern Lights are one of the most famous natural phenomenon’s in the world and seeing them are on most people's bucket list.

For those looking to experience the Northern Lights on a gap year you usually have to travel to countries such as Iceland and Norway to see them, but things are looking bright for those wanting to discover the beauty of the lights.

If you’re looking to see the Northern Lights on a gap year in 2012 then head to Ireland. For a limited period the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, will be seen in Irish skies, with Donegal being tipped as the ideal location.

Astronomers 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.

Brendan Alexander, an astronomer in County Donegal, said the further north and away from city lights people are then the more chance they have of seeing the wonders of the lights.

He told the Daily Mail: “It's definitely worth seeking out. It's an event that, especially on these shores, is so rare. But we are lucky to live just north enough to experience it - any country further south than us won't be able to see it.

“When you are watching the display it's very eerie, almost alien. It's like nothing you have seen before.”

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.

Mr Alexander will be issuing alerts on expected sightings on his website,

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