Milky Way to be 'clearly visible' in parts of London in May - key dates and best places to see it

The Milky Way will be more visible throughout May
The Milky Way will be more visible throughout May -Credit:Alan Novelli/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Just a week after we enjoyed an incredible view of the Northern Lights, London is set to experience another incredible sight this month. During early May mornings you have the wonderful opportunity of spotting the core of the Milky Way galaxy, which is brighter than normal.

Along with views of these distant stars and solar systems, we'll also be able to see our own neighbouring planets in the night sky. This month, Jupiter is briefly visible low in the western evening sky after the Sun has set.

In the pre-dawn sky to the east, you'll be able to see the remaining brighter planets - Saturn, Mars, Mercury and Venus - all line up in a row.

READ MORE: Experts issue Northern Lights red alert with aurora visible across London and UK tonight

The International Space Station moves in front of the Milky Way galaxy
The International Space Station moves in front of the Milky Way galaxy -Credit:Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images

These views of the Milky Way and our solar system are best seen in areas with minimal light pollution. Although this puts us at a disadvantage in London, outer parts of the city such as Croydon, Kingston and Hillingdon have a good chance of enjoying the spectacle.

Although these sights are visible throughout May, experts at Aurora Watch UK have reported forecasted another red alert for geomagnetic activity this evening (Friday, May 17).

The Met Office predicted tonight could have another coronal mass ejection from the sun causing an interaction with the Earth's magnetic field producing the amazing lights and it appears they were right.

Aroura Watch UK, run by scientists at the Planetary Physics group at Lancaster University, has published a bar chart showing that the base rate of geomagnetic activity is around 30 to 40 nanoteslas (a unit for measuring magnetism) but at 7pm this hit 500 nanoteslas. This massive jump is likely to mean we will be able to see the Northern Lights once again in the UK.

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