THE NORTHERN Lights made an appearance in the skies over Scotland last night.
The lights, also dubbed the Aurora Borealis, are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere and charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere.
The variations in colour are down to the type of gas particles involved in the collisions.
The Northern Lights are normally best seen from most northerly parts of Scotland, with the Orkney Isles, Outer Hebrides and Shetland offering great views of the phenomenon.
While it’s impossible to fully predict where and when the Northern Lights can be seen, the independent organisation Aurora Watch offers free text alerts for locations throughout the UK.
The group also researches the lights’ characteristics when they do make an appearance.
Despite the lights being best viewed from northerly parts of the country, the Aurora has been seen as far south as parts of Tayside and the Fife coastline.
In the north-east, Nairn and Cairn o’ Mount are regularly tipped as good spotting locations.
While it would be theoretically possible to see the Northern Lights from a high vantage point in Edinburgh, like Calton Hill, the levels of light pollution would hamper viewing opportunities compared to those on offer further north.
In January last year, the Northern Lights was the most common item on people’s ‘bucket lists’ - things to do before they die - ahead of activities such as visiting the Grand Canyon, getting married and swimming with dolphins.