What time are Northern Lights tonight? Best times to see Aurora Borealis in Yorkshire

The Northern Lights could once again grace the skies over the UK tonight, with stargazers and night photographers poised for another potential display.

Yorkshire was treated to a spectacular show last night as the aurora borealis lit up the UK's night sky. Pictures were sent into Yorkshire Live from across the region, with fantastic pictures taken over the beaches of North Yorkshire and the moors of West Yorkshire.

An "extreme" geomagnetic storm on Friday, as reported by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), heightened the chances of witnessing the Northern Lights. These storms are the result of intense solar activity, specifically coronal mass ejections, which can create awe-inspiring auroral displays.

Read more: Will there be more Northern Lights tonight? Best places to see them in Yorkshire

For those who missed out or are eager for a repeat performance, there is still hope. According to the Met Office's space weather predictions, the effects of the coronal mass ejections were felt last night, leading to a "significantly enhanced aurora overnight" that could be seen across much of the UK.

Northern Lights spotted in Yorkshire on Friday
Northern Lights spotted in Yorkshire on Friday -Credit:Ben Lister / North Yorkshire Weather Updates

While the forecast suggests that the intensity might wane by today (May 11), the aurora is expected to remain visible tonight and increasingly more so in the days ahead. Sightings are likely from the northern regions of the UK and possibly further south if conditions permit.

A 'red alert' has been issued by UK-based Aurorawatch, indicating considerable ongoing activity. They have stated: "It is likely that aurora will be visible by eye and camera from anywhere in the UK."

What time might the Northern Lights make their appearance tonight?

The Northern Lights could be visible again on Saturday, May 11, with the best viewing times between 10pm and 3am.

Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said there was potential for another display following Friday night's show. 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."

He added that with the right conditions, sightings could extend further south: "There could even be visibility further south if you have the right equipment."

Mr Dixon also hinted at possible continued activity on Saturday, saying: "Those conditions could continue on Saturday night but we still have to work out some details on where exactly that will be."

The Northern Lights in Yorkshire -Credit:Rebecca Wieliczko
The Northern Lights in Yorkshire -Credit:Rebecca Wieliczko

Krista Hammond, the Met Office's space weather manager, echoed the sentiment for favourable conditions, particularly for those in the north. She stated: "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."

Hammond pointed out the limited hours of darkness but remained optimistic: "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."

She concluded by noting the potential for the lights to persist into Saturday: "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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