'Likely' that Northern Lights will be 'visible by eye anywhere in UK' on Friday, June 28, as 'red alert' issued

The Northern lights may be visible from July 6 to July 8 (Owen Humphreys/PA)
-Credit: (Image: Owen Humphreys/PA)

It is "likely" that the Northern Lights will be visible in the UK on Friday, June 28. AuroraWatch UK, which monitors activity of the aurora borealis, has issued a 'red alert'.

This means that "it is likely that aurora will be visible by eye and camera from anywhere in the UK". AuroraWatch, which is run by scientists in the Space and Planetary Physics group at Lancaster University’s Department of Physics, issued the alert on Friday afternoon.

Aurora displays occur when charged particles collide with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere around the magnetic poles. In the northern hemisphere, most of this activity takes place within a band known as the aurora oval, covering latitudes between 60 and 75 degrees.

When activity is strong, this expands to cover a greater area – which explains why displays can be occasionally seen as far south as the UK.

The warning from AuroraWatch UK
The warning from AuroraWatch UK -Credit:AuroraWatch UK

AuroraWatch also issued a note of caution, saying: "Please note that even if we issue an alert, local conditions will still need to be right for you to see aurora. For more information on what conditions you’ll need, please read our blog entry."

It also explained why it issues alerts during the daytime, adding: "Our alerts are completely automated; they are issued when the disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field reaches certain thresholds. This, of course, can occur at any time of the day even though the aurora itself can only been seen during darkness.

"We choose to still issue alerts during the daytime for a couple of reasons. Firstly, alerts during the daytime give you prior notice that activity is increased and, if such activity continues into the evening, it gives you time to prepare for aurora hunting later on."