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Northern lights dazzle in parts of UK overnight

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Sky gazers were treated to "one of the best displays of aurora" on Thursday night.


Awesome aurora: Northern Lights over Scotland


Northern lights visible across Wales in spectacular display


Northern lights: 'Magnificent' displays captured in East Midlands


The skies above parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have been illuminated by dazzling displays of colour thanks to the Northern Lights.


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Forecasters completely missed this one.

Not every light in the sky was the aurora borealis. There was also STEVE:

STEVE (Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement) looks like an aurora, but it is not. The phenomenon is caused by hot (3000°C) ribbons of gas flowing through Earth’s magnetosphere at speeds exceeding 6 km/s (13,000 mph).


This remarkable storm began on March 23rd when one or more unexpected CMEs passed close to Earth. The storm clouds could have left the sun on March 20-21 when SOHO coronagraph data were unusually sparse. We didn't know they were coming.

Magnetic fields in the wake of the CME(s) pried open a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind penetrated to fuel the storm. Earth's "shields were down" for almost 24 hours, allowing the storm to build to category G4.


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