Northern Lights UK tonight: Where can you see the Aurora Borealis? What time? How to watch | Science | News

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An increase in solar winds caused by a solar flare on the sun means lucky stargazers in Britain will have the first chance to see the aurora borealis since November 2017.

AuroraWatch UK tweeted: “We’ve seen a sudden (though relatively modest) jump in the solar wind speed and density which suggests the anticipated CME has arrived! Fingers crossed that conditions continue to build for UK #aurora this evening.”

CME (coronal mass ejection) is a release of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s aura, which is carried through a stream of charged particles called the solar wind.

NOAA Space Weather says the CME was launched on February 12 and will arrive in our skies tonight.

Where can you see the Aurora Borealis?

The best places to witness tonight’s celestial spectacular – weather depending – is Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

AuroraWatch UK tweeted: “It’s a bit difficult to say at this stage but @NWSSWPC are predicting a G1 storm which would suggest northern Scotland.

“@MetOfficeSpace predict G1/G2 which would be better for more of UK (Scotland, northern England, NI). Only time will tell though.”

Nathan Case, a physicist for AuroraWatch UK, also told The Independent that the spotting opportunities were “fairly good” in Scotland.

What time can you see the Northern Lights?

It’s difficult to predict at what time you will be able to spot the green haze of the Northern Lights but the best time is during the darkest hours so head out at some point between 9pm and 6am.

How to watch the Aurora Borealis

As with any form of stargazing, the best chance of seeing anything is by getting as far away from light pollution as possible.

Head out of the city to find the darkest sky location possible.

Be patient, as although clear skies are predicted, there may be some cloud coverage in parts.

And remember to wrap up warm.

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