The Northern Lights as seen in Newtongrange in Midlothian.
The Northern Lights were seen in the UK last night, with keen photographers snapping some beautiful shots of the Aurora Borealis.
Following the most powerful solar flare in a decade , electromagnetic particles bombarding the planet produced the stunning wavy glow in skies around the nation.
Alerts sent out by AuroraWatch UK, based at Lancaster University's department of physics, sent amateur photographers scurrying for their cameras when it sent a red alert after an enormous spike in geomagnetic activity in the early hours.
Geomagnetic activity spiked in the early hours. Pic: AuroraWatch UK
:: Before we get to the pictures, some nerdy stuff...
As all keen followers of space weather will know, there were of course two large coronal mass ejections (solar flares) recently.
The first took place on 4 September and was ranked as an M4-class flare, while the largest in a decade, the X9-class flare, occurred on 6 September. So which flare produced the stunning Aurora Borealis?
It seems that both were responsible in a way, with the earlier flare clearing the way for the latter.
This meant that the X9-class flare was subsequently able to catch up with its smaller brother, enhancing the solar wind and creating the conditions for the Northern Lights.
:: Those pictures
According to AuroraWatch UK, it is possible that the X9-class flare will deliver another aurora display tonight.
Photographers can track the likelihood of the Northern Lights being visible on the
AuroraWatch UK website.


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