Yesterday evening, parts of the UK witnessed the Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis thanks to the solar flare that emanated from the Sun earlier in the week.
The previous appearance of the Northern Lights for the Britons happened in November 2017 when they were visible as far south as Shrewsbury. This year’s occurrence, however, won’t be nearly as bright considering that the Aurora Borealis overall is moving towards a dimmer part of its cycle. The best areas from where the Northern Lights were visible included Northern Ireland and the north of Scotland.
The Northern Lights owe their emergence to the “massive coronal mass ejection” from the Sun that reach our planet after a couple of days. A massive coronal mass ejection is a fancy name for a solar flare and refers to the release of plasma that hits the magnetic field of our planet and causes the Northern Lights to emit light and be more visible even far distances away from their location.
While this time around you may not have been able to view the Northern Lights, remember for next time that the best to see them is to get as far away from any sort of light pollution. Additionally, moving as far north as possible will give you the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights in the UK considering the Aurora Borealis’ location at the North Pole.
In order to view the Northern Lights in the UK, you’d be best served by stepping outside between the hours of 9pm and 1am when the skies are at their darkest. It’s also important to have the best view of the northern skies and get as far away from the city as possible. In many cases, heading to the top of the hill or perhaps to the beach would be preferable. If you can happen to get to northern Scotland, you’ll have the best view possible of the Northern Lights in the UK.
Keep in mind that the Aurora Borealis is on an 11-year cycle, waxing and waning from bright to dim. Over the next couple of years, it will get increasingly more difficult to see the Northern Lights in the UK. So taking the time to step out this evening near the end of the evening might give you a chance to see a relatively rare occurrence of an easily viewable spectacle.