A glimpse of the spectacular Northern Lights here in the UK - thanks to a rare magnetic storm.
The northern lights are nature's very own magnificent light show. They are the mesmerising end result of electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with the Earth's upper atmosphere. Though more frequently witnessed from the polar regions, the UK and other places on similar latitudes are lucky enough for the aurora borealis to occasionally grace their night sky.
The northern lights are driven by activity on the sun and the sun's activity waxes and wanes over an 11-year period known as a solar cycle. The number of large-scale aurora events, the type that is visible from places such as the UK, tends to follow this cycle. But each solar cycle is different, with the maximum and minimum activity varying between each cycle.
The Met Office has said the Northern Lights would dazzle over Britain- just a month after the last sighting of the incredible natural phenomenon over the UK. The magnetic storm is set to last for 48 hours, with the breathtaking colours of the Aurora Borealis expected to be more striking in the first 24 hours.
The Met Office said: “The northern lights appear as large areas of colour including pale green, pink, shades of red, yellow, blue and violet in the direction due north. During a weak aurora, the colours are very faint and spread out whereas an intense aurora features greater numbers of and brighter colours which can be seen higher in the sky with a distinct arc.
LONDON — If you happen to have looked up into the sky recently and spotted strange patterns of shifting colours, don't panic — the weird bodies of lights appearing above Britain are nacreous clouds.
"Currently, we are able to catch sight of them because cold air which usually circulates around polar regions in the stratosphere (the stratospheric polar vortex) has been displaced from its usual position over the north pole to be over the UK," a Met Office spokesperson said.
"Our weather forecast models indicate the cold polar vortex will remain nearby for the next few days, so we should be able to see Nacreous Clouds when the skies are clear."
"The position of the vortex shifts towards the end of the week taking the coldest air, and the Nacreous Clouds, away from above the UK."
BRITAIN is also on alert for the most severe winter freeze for SIX YEARS ~ snow showers to hit the UK. Forecast for the capital as temperatures plummet below freezing.