UK News in Pictures

|

Home Breaking Northern Lights Set to Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

Northern Lights Set to Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are anticipated to grace the skies of the UK again in the coming weeks, according to space weather forecasters.

Northern Lights Set To Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

Last weekend, on May 11, residents across much of the UK were surprised and delighted by a stunning display of the pink and green auroras. This unexpected event was caused by an extreme geomagnetic storm, which enhanced the visibility of the Northern Lights. The phenomenon was confirmed by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Northern Lights Set To Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

The recent sunstorm was the result of a series of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that not only lit up the skies but also posed potential threats to power and communication systems on Earth and in orbit.

Northern Lights Set To Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

Krista Hammond, a space weather expert at the Met Office, has now shared that the Northern Lights could make a return to UK skies in just a few days.

Northern Lights Set To Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

Upcoming Northern Lights Visibility in the UK

Northern Lights Set To Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

The sunspot region will be rotated back towards Earth in 10 to 12 days,” said Hammond, indicating the possibility of further geomagnetic storms and aurora displays. The sunspot region will be coming back round onto the Earth-facing side of the sun.

Northern Lights Set To Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

Hammond explained that the current solar maximum, a period of heightened solar activity, is contributing to an increased number of sunspots. “If we see more sunspots, we see this increased frequency in space weather and therefore the aurora.”

Northern Lights Set To Illuminate UK Skies Once More, Forecasters Say

However, the Met Office has tempered expectations of another display like the one seen last weekend. “It was such a unique set of circumstances that happened last weekend,” Hammond noted. “The chances of the same sunspots doing the same thing again – it’s probably quite slim. I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes around and there’s some activity on it, but it won’t be, I doubt, a repeat performance.”

Viewing Opportunities and Potential Displays

The visibility of aurora displays in the UK is largely dependent on the strength of geomagnetic storming. Hammond added that smaller CMEs on their way to Earth could still create beautiful displays, particularly in the northern regions of the UK.

“There are a couple of mass ejections on their way to Earth. They’re a lot less powerful than what we saw last weekend, but they could bring aurora displays across predominantly northern parts of the UK, such as Scotland, Northern Ireland, and north of England,” she said. Just because we’re not seeing aurora across the whole of the UK, it doesn’t mean that we’re not going to see it in some areas.

Why Have Northern Lights Sightings Become More Frequent?

The increased frequency of Northern Lights sightings can be attributed to the solar maximum, which brings more sunspots and heightened solar activity. This period, which typically occurs every 11 years, is characterized by increased solar flares and CMEs, enhancing the chances of witnessing the Northern Lights.

For those eager to catch a glimpse of this celestial spectacle, keeping an eye on space weather forecasts and heading to areas with minimal light pollution will provide the best chances of viewing.

social media2

Never miss another Breaking story again

 

You can sign up to get the latest news, top stories and exclusives sent straight to your WhatsApp from the UKNIP team.

WhatsApp
Instagram
Snapchat

To get stories sent to you, you need to already have WhatsApp. All you need to do is click this link and select ‘join community’

No one will be able to see who is signed up and no one can send messages except the UKNIP team. you can read your privacy policy notice.

Click here to join our WhatsApp community.

Follow UKNIP 

Single Post Template

Most Read