Northern Lights visible from Dartmoor tonight - tips, tricks and how to get the best pics

The Northern Lights may be visible over Dartmoor this weekend
The Northern Lights may be visible over Dartmoor this weekend -Credit:UK Weather Chase

Forecasters expect the Northern Lights to be visible in Devon this weekend as the South West braces a myriad of weather events. The spectacular phenomenon is expected to be seen over parts of Dartmoor tonight, Friday, May 10, and possibly tomorrow Saturday, May 11, and experts believe conditions are looking "very good".

Sam Whitfield, of UK Weather Chase, said there are many suitable spots on Dartmoor to see the aurora boreallis but higher ground with minimal light pollution is likely to offer the best visibility.

He said: "Places like Haytor, Coombstone Tor car park are great. Right now conditions are looking favourable and very good. We are hoping this solar snot will hit earth directly following some big solar activity over the last few days. It’s definitely exciting if things do go the way we hope!"

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While catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights in the UK - especially as far south as Devon - is rare, the phenomenon has already been spotted over Dartmoor several times this year. A gorgeous pink glow was seen near Yelverton and Princetown in April and, just days later, white columns of light we seen in the South Hams.

Sam says both of these are more common here than the vibrant green flashes seen further north. He said: "I must stress don’t expect to see a green glow like you see in pictures dancing above your head. You may catch what looks like white pillars in the distance or maybe a pinkish tint."

He recommends using night mode on a phone camera if you're hoping to take pictures of the skies this over Devon this weekend, and ensure you have a full battery.

"To prevent phone from shaking which taking a long exposure picture, a tripod would be great but if you don’t have one, try resting the phone on a rock nearby or roof of car," he said.

Conditions are "good" for spotting the pretty Aurora as far south as Devon
Conditions are "good" for spotting the pretty aurora borealis as far south as Devon -Credit:UK Weather Chase

"Try using a pillow to hold phone up which has worked for me in the past. Most android have night mode for taking long exposures but those using an iPhone, ensure you phone camera is in photo mode. Hold the phone still and you’ll notice top left a yellow icon with a digit will appear next to the flash icon. Click on that and put it to max."

It comes ahead of a thunderstorm warning, which is in place for parts of Devon. The Met Office warning is in place from 12pm to 10pm on Sunday, May 12 and, while only the eastern part of Devon is included in the alert, Sam reckons there may be more excitement to come.

"We are currently keeping a very close eye on the models which may be result in us issuing a thunderstorm watch for Sunday," he said.