Sunday, 21 July, 2019

Northern Lights could be visible in Scotland this weekend - here's where

2018 file  News Tribune 2018 file News Tribune
Sandra Phillips | 25 March, 2019, 20:10

In 2011, the Northern Lights were even spotted as far down south as Alabama.

You'll have the best chance of seeing the phenomenon Saturday after sunset from about midnight to 2 a.m., Murphy told the IndyStar.

That means a powerful space storm is flaring up on the surface of the sun - and experts predict this weekend the Lights will shine brighter than usual.

Currently, skies across the Central Belt are forecast to be cloudy on Saturday night, but there could be breaks long enough for the lights to be visible.

But some will pass down Earth's magnetic field lines at each pole and enter the atmosphere, where oxygen and nitrogen molecules give off light.

They can spread further south when the concentration of particles is higher, for instance following a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) of plasma from the sun.

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Hundreds of thousands of people travel to northern regions like Iceland, Norway, and Alaska every year to see the Northern Lights.

Chicagoans may get a rare glimpse of the Northern Lights over the city this weekend due to an unusually large solar flare.

In Northern Ireland, there needs to be a KP minimum of 5 or 6 to see the Aurora.

So, if you have clear skies on Saturday, try to head outside and see if you can catch them.

In the United Kingdom, the Met Office's Space account tweeted: "CME forecast to arrive late 23rd March following C5 flare from sunspot AR2736". Because the northern lights occur above the clouds, check the weather forecast in your area before going out.

He did caution that a dark and clear sky would be needed to be able to see the lights clearly, "advising everyone to be watching the northern horizon" just in case.

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