Northern Lights: Aurora Borealis to dazzle UK skies tonight and Friday evening, Met Office confirms
The display is a result of a solar storm with winds at nearly 500 miles per second heading towards Earth
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The Aurora Borealis will be visible tonight (30 March) and Friday evening (31 March), The Met Office has confirmed.
The national forecaster said that the spectacle can be seen in northern Scotland, but it won’t be visible much further south.
The display is a result of a "hole" that has appeared on the surface of the Sun, generating solar storms with winds at nearly 500 miles per second heading towards Earth.
Known as a coronal hole, it is a large dark region in the atmosphere that is cooler than its surrounding area. It was spotted by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory and found to be 20 times bigger than Earth.
It was only last month that the UK was treated to a spectacular light show, with the Lights visible as far south as Kent and Cornwall.
More recently, a solar flare from the Sun collided with the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a colourful spectacle seen across the country.
Krista Hammond, of the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre, said that "minor solar storms” will be “possible” this evening and Friday night.
She added: "As this is a fairly minor solar storm, the auroras aren’t expected to be visible much further south on this occasion."
Daniel Verscharen, associate professor in space plasma physics at University College London, said: "Coronal holes are regions from where fast solar wind is launched into space. Fast solar wind has speeds of about 700 or 800km per second and is thus almost twice as fast as the average solar wind.
"This particular coronal hole is of interest to us because it has pointed towards Earth - this means that it has released fast solar wind towards the Earth."
Forecasters are not expecting any damage to occur as it is a minor solar storm - some have the capability to wreak havoc on satellites and power infrastructure.
Ms Hammond said: "This is expected to be a G1 solar storm, which is the lowest category for these events and the most frequent events we see."
Christopher Owen, professor of physics and head of Space Plasma Group at UCL, added that a UK-built spacecraft, the Solar Orbiter, detected the fast solar wind using its onboard wind detector.
He told the Mirror: "In the measurements, we see an increase in the solar wind speed from about 400km per second yesterday around midnight to over 700km per second this morning. This faster solar wind will reach the Earth in the early evening of tomorrow."