Time Northern Lights could be visible again tonight in the UK

The Northern Lights over Crosby Beach last night
The Northern Lights over Crosby Beach last night -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

People will be eagerly watching the skies tonight hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Stunning skies arrived on Merseyside last night as the aurora borealis became visible across the UK. The ECHO captured stunning photos of the night sky above Crosby beach, while one woman saw the lights in the shape of a Liver Bird.

The visibility of the Northern Lights was increased on Friday because of an “extreme” geomagnetic storm, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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The storm, caused by powerful eruptions known as coronal mass ejections, triggered spectacular displays of aurora. For those hoping to see the lights again, there remains some hope.

The Met Office’s space weather forecast said the ejections arrived last night, causing a “significantly enhanced aurora overnight” with enhanced visibility across the UK.

It adds that activity should slowly decline today (May 11) but 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. This forecast could change with the likelihood of further coronal ejections taking place.

UK-based Aurorawatch has issued a 'red alert' saying there is a lot of activity still taking place today. They said: "It is likely that aurora will be visible by eye and camera from anywhere in the UK."

What time can we see the Northern Lights tonight?

The best time to see the Northern Lights is between 10pm and 3am.

Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said yesterday the conditions that allowed the Northern Lights to appear on Friday night could be replicated on Saturday, but that the exact locations were still unknown.

He said: “Although the shorter nights will limit the visibility window, there’s a good chance to see the aurora, particularly on Friday night and especially in Scotland, Ireland and parts of northern England and Wales.

“There could even be visibility further south if you have the right equipment.

“Those conditions could continue on Saturday night but we still have to work out some details on where exactly that will be.”

Meanwhile, Krista Hammond, the Met Office’s space weather manager, predicted those in northern parts of the UK had the best chance of seeing the lights again. She said: “Multiple coronal mass ejections from the sun are expected to reach Earth in the coming days bringing the potential for aurora visibility over the UK, particularly on Friday night.

“While short nights at this time of year will limit the visibility window, if conditions are right there’s a good chance of sightings on Friday night.

“Aurora visibility may persist through Saturday night, but as it stands this is likely to be less widespread than on Friday night with northern parts of the UK most likely to continue to have the best viewing potential.”

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