Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Northern lights outshine fireworks on bonfire weekend in the UK

The Met Office said the striking phenomenon, also known as aurora borealis, was “observed across Scotland and sightings were reported across central and eastern parts of England”.

Professor Don Pollacco, a University of Warwick physicist, said it is caused by “the interaction of particles coming from the sun, the solar wind, with the Earth’s atmosphere – channelled to the polar regions by the Earth’s magnetic field”.

  • The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, appears over Bamburgh Lighthouse, in Northum (Image: PA )

  • A strong thermal emission velocity enhancement, a rare aurora-like phenomenon, over Bamburgh Castle (Image: PA )

  • The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, appears over Bamburgh Lighthouse (Image: PA)

  • He added: “Once the particles are channelled into the Earth’s atmosphere they interact with molecules and have distinctive colours – oxygen molecules produce green light, nitrogen red light.”

    Bamburgh in Northumberland was also visited by STEVE, or a strong thermal emission velocity enhancement, in which hot plasma breaks into the ionosphere, appearing as a purple, red and white arc.

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