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In pictures: Northern Lights shine across Scotland

The Northern Lights as seen from Calton Hill, Edinburgh. Picture: Dr Victoria Ridley

The Northern Lights as seen from Calton Hill, Edinburgh. Picture: Dr Victoria Ridley


THE Northern Lights gave a rare light show across in parts of Scotland not normally graced with their presence.

Spectacular red and green lights of the Aurora Borealis lit up skies across Scotland last night with sighting reported across the central belt.

A strong strong magnetic storm meant that they were even visible in Gloucestershire, Essex and Norfolk.

The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, are usually visible in only the more northern parts of the UK, but a surge in geomagnetic activity last night led to them appearing much further south than usual.

The display occurs when explosions on the surface of the Sun hurl huge amounts of charged particles into space, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS).

Those thrown towards Earth are captured by its magnetic field and guided towards the geomagnetic polar regions. Charged particles collide with gas molecules in the atmosphere, and the subsequent energy is given off as light.

Geomagnetic storms follow an 11-year “solar cycle”, and the last “solar maximum” was last year, according to the BGS.

PICTURES IN GALLERY

Newmachar, Aberdeenshire - picture taken by James Hewett

Calton Hill , Edinburgh - picture taken by Dr Victoria Ridley

Newmill, Banffshire - Ross Simpson

West of Aberdeen - Bryan Burke

SEE ALSO:

• Best places in Scotland to see the Northern Lights

 

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