How can I see the Northern Lights across Scotland tonight?

The Northern Lights stunned onlookers on Friday night and those hoping for a repeat viewing will get another opportunity tonight.

Whether you bore witness to the biggest solar storm in decades or were left missing out, fear not. Experts say there will be a second chance on Saturday night, albeit the display may not be quite so strong.

A powerful solar storm reached Earth's skies on Friday, leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to issue a severe solar storm warning for the first time since 2005.

Social media users flooded the internet with snaps of the otherworldly show which was viewable across the UK. As for tonight, experts say the Northern Lights will be lighting up the skies once more.

It comes after bursts of plasma on the sun called Multiple Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) arrived late on May 10. The "significantly enhanced" aurora lasted overnight across the country.

Will the Northern Lights be visible again?

Northern lights / aurora at Drumpellier Country Park, North Lanarkshire, Scotland on Friday evening (May 10 2024)
Purple and green Northern Lights raining down over Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire -Credit:David Gilliver / SWNS

The solar activity isn't expected to be quite so strong, but the Met Office reports there is a 'good chance' of seeing the aurora borealis tonight, especially for those in Scotland.

The Met Office Space Weather forecast says: "Activity will remain enhanced in the coming days with aurora still likely to be seen from the northern half of the UK at times and potentially further south again. The forecast is liable to change with the likelihood of further Earth-directed CMEs occurring."

Simon King, lead BBC weather presenter and meteorologist, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the solar activity may not decline quite as much as expected. He explained: "Worth noting that geomagnetic activity has still been extreme at times through today so [fingers crossed emoji] it might not drop off as much as suggested earlier."

Where can you see the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are likely to appear across the whole of Scotland, as reports the Met Office. Friday saw an extreme G5 storm, and if conditions are clear, Simon says the aurora borealis will be visible "anywhere in the UK".

The skies tonight are set to be clear and the night mild, thanks to the spell of summery weather. BBC Weather Scotland reported that the mercury hit 25C in Glasgow, Achnagart and Kinlochewe, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

What time will the Northern Lights be strongest?

The nights are growing shorter as we approach the summer equinox. That means stargazers will have to wait until skies grow completely dark after sunset, which now falls at about 9:15pm.

Astronomical twilight describes when the sky is darkest. This will be approximately 11:30pm, according to Timeanddate. The weather conditions are ideal, so onlookers can increase their chances of seeing auroras in a place clear of light pollution.

Join the Daily Record's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.