The Northern Lights from the UK could provide British skywatchers with a breathtaking natural light display tonight and the rest of this week.
According to the dailymail quoting the Met Office, the aurora borealis, another name for the phenomenon, may be visible as far south as North Wales and the Midlands.
An aurora is typically centered near the Earth’s magnetic poles and is caused by disturbances in the magnetosphere of the planet caused by a flow of solar particles.
However, because auroras are typically only visible in high-latitude regions like the Arctic and Antarctic, catching one in the UK is a treat for stargazers and can produce some beautiful pictures.
The display this week, according to the Met Office, is the result of a coronal mass ejection (CME), a large plasma expulsion from the Sun’s corona, its outermost layer.
The aurora was brought on by an ejection that left the sun on Sunday and traveled at hundreds of miles per second before striking the Earth’s magnetosphere.
The auroral oval, a ring-shaped region of auroral activity that governs the extent of the Northern Lights, is depicted in a Met Office animation.
In case anyone misses the opportunity today, it appears that the aurora will also be visible on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
‘In the most likely scenario aurora would become visible where skies are clear to Scotland as well as the north of England and Northern Ireland,’ the Met Office said in a statement.
‘There is a slight chance that the auroral oval could move further south to allow views from North Wales and the Midlands given clear views of the northern horizon.’
The Northern Lights are known as the aurora borealis in the northern hemisphere and the aurora australis in the southern hemisphere.
‘Significant upgrades’ to the auroral oval will occur in the southern hemisphere, but not until late Wednesday or early Thursday.
The Met Office stated that it was “most likely” that aurora would become visible as far south as New Zealand and Tasmania.
Given clear viewing circumstances of the southern horizon, there is a tiny possibility that the auroral oval will move further north to permit observations from the south of mainland Australia and the South Island of New Zealand.