The Northern Lights will be visible in the UK on Saturday evening 11 May 2024

The northern lights dazzled most of the UK overnight thanks to an “extreme” geomagnetic storm. Delighted people from Whitley Bay on the North East coast, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Wokingham in Berkshire all shared pictures of the amazing display overnight.

They have also been seen in Suffolk, Kent, Hampshire and Liverpool. But the big question for those who missed it is – could they still be seen tonight (Saturday, May 11)? ITV News meteorologist and weather presenter Chris Page said the northern lights were likely to be visible this evening.

“The activity is expected to slow down, however there’s a good chance (clouds permitting) you could see it again tonight,” he said. Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said the conditions that allowed the northern lights to appear on Friday night could be replicated on Saturday, but that the exact locations were still unknown.

“We still need to work out some details about exactly where it will be,” Mr Dixon said. The combination of clear skies and increased activity from the sun reaching Earth would improve the chances of seeing the display, he added.

The best time to see the Northern Lights tends to be between 10pm and 2am. Last night’s sightings reached as far as Ireland, with Irish weather service Met Eireann posting images of the lights in Dublin and at Shannon Airport in Co Clare.

Kathleen Cunnea, from Great Horkesley, Essex, said: “It was absolutely amazing to see.” The visibility of the northern lights was increased on Friday due to an “extreme” geomagnetic storm, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA said the G5 geomagnetic storm, which is considered extreme and is the strongest level of a geomagnetic storm, hit land on Thursday and could affect communications, GPS and power grids. The cause of this storm is a “large and complex” group of sunspots and is 17 times the diameter of the earth, the last G5 storm to hit the earth in October 2003, causing power outages in Sweden.

Aurora displays occur when charged particles collide with gases in Earth’s atmosphere around the magnetic poles. In the Northern Hemisphere, most of this activity takes place in a band known as the auroral oval, which covers latitudes between 60 and 75 degrees.

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