Solar activity and kind weather conditions could allow Britons to see the Northern Lights tonight.
According to predictions from NASA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (NOAA) and the British MET office, the most recent Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) could make the Northern Lights visible further south than usual, writes Oliver Smith for The Telegraph.
Solar activity could bring aurora borealis to Britain
Scientists believe that the CME will “enhance geomagnetic conditions to G3 (Strong) levels in the early hours of June 25.” So long as the skies over Britain are clear, residents could be treated to a spectacular light show.
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“If it behaves as expected, [the CME] could send another batch of charged particles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere on Wednesday night, with the possibility of another Northern Lights display that could equal Monday night’s,” said the MET Office.
The chance of sightings was endorsed by AuroraWatchUK, which is based at Lancaster University. The organization issued an amber alert on Wednesday morning, which states that the “aurora is likely to be visible from Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland.”
Maximize your chances of observing the Northern Lights
If you are in Britain, your chances of seeing the Northern Lights rely on clear, dark skies and an unobstructed view to the north.
“It’s a good idea to look on a map and travel to an elevated location with an uninterrupted view to the north, with as little light pollution possible,” said Jonny Cooper, director of Off the Map Travel. “You need to be there at least 30 minutes after sunset, but the darker the skies the better, so make sure you wrap up warm and be patient,” he added.
According to weather forecasts, those in the Midlands, parts of Northern Ireland and Southern England have the best chance of seeing the aurora, whereas residents of Scotland may find their view obscured by cloud cover.
CMEs eject charged particles from the Sun which enter the Earth’s atmosphere. As well as making the aurora borealis visible from a greater portion of the globe than usual, severe CMEs can interrupt communication systems. Although this latest CME is not strong enough to cause major disruption, solar activity is carefully monitored due to its potentially destructive effects.