17 pictures of Northern Lights as aurora borealis seen throughout the UK

The aurora borealis were visible across parts of Scotland last night – with many sharing their pictures across social media.

And the good news for star gazers is that the phenomenon is expected to return tonight.

The Aurora Borealis were visible across the east and west coast, with sightings in Islay, North Uist, Linlithgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, the Hebrides and even Gourock.

The Met Office forecast clear conditions across the UK for Sunday night, saying the aurora borealis “may be visible as far south as central England tonight where skies remain clear”, adding that the lights are likely to be seen again on Monday night.

The moving patterns of green, blue, purple and red are caused by solar storms on the surface of the sun, which create clouds of electrically charged particles that are forcefully expelled.

Some of these particles collide with the Earth, with some becoming caught in the planet’s magnetic field, where they are attracted to the north and south poles.

This collection of particles collide with atoms and molecules already present in the atmosphere, heating them up and causing them to glow – creating the Northern Lights.