The Norfolk lights! Skies over East Anglia turn red and green by stunning display of the Aurora Borealis
- Such light displays in the sky often occur in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, but illuminated parts of UK last night
- Northern Lights are caused by collision of particles from the sun with atoms in Earth’s high-altitude atmosphere
- Stargazers in Norfolk, Essex, South Wales, Cumbria and Scotland treated to stunning display of Aurora Borealis
By Amie Keeley and Sophie Jane Evans
Britain’s skies were lit up red and green last night as a spectacular display of the Northern Lights illuminated parts of the country.
Stargazers in Norfolk, Essex, South Wales, Cumbria and parts of Scotland were treated to stunning views of the Aurora Borealis.
Pictures show a red and green sky littered with stars caused by the collision of electronically charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere.
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Different colours: Stargazers in Foxley, Norfolk, were treated to a stunning display of the Aurora Borealis that lit up the sky last night
Captivating: Skies over Loch Brora in the Scottish Highlands turn red and green by a mesmerising display of the Aurora Borealis
Bright: People across the UK revelled in a rare glimpse of the Northern Lights – stretching as far down as East Anglia. Above, the sky turns pink and yellow
Swirl of colour: Photographer Stewart Watt captures the Aurora Borealis lighting up the sky over the small town of Thurso in Caithness, Scotland, during the night
Historic: The sky lights up red above Stonehaven War Mermorial in Aberdeen
Unbelieveable: The Northern Lights display at Inverkirkaig, near Lochinver in Sutherlandshire, Scotland. The display lasted for two hours before clouds obscured them
Starry-eyed: The stars are caused by the collision of electronically charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere
Stunning: The Northern Lights were also visible in the North East of England. Above, the Aurora Borealis light up the sky near Hallbankgate in North Cumbria
Out of this world: And they also appeared over areas of Scotland, such as Carrbridge in Inverness-shire (pictured)
Twitter user and meteorologist, Chris Bell, posted a stunning photograph from his home in Foxley, Norfolk at around 8pm last night.
Mark Thompson, presenter of Stargazing Live, told the BBC: ‘What happens is there is stuff called the solar wind, which is electronically charged particles, and they take two or three days to get here and when they do get here they cause the gas atoms in the sky to glow. It is as simple as that.’
Such light displays in the sky often occur in the Arctic and Antarctic regions and are caused by the collision of particles from the sun entering the earth’s atmosphere.
However, they could be seen in various parts of the country last night, including Whitely Bay in North Tyneside, where a lighthouse could be seen shining brightly.
Spectacular: People watch the Northern Lights, dance over St. Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitely Bay just outside Newcastle
Lit up: The lighthouse appears to light up as a collision of particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere
Watching in awe: A man watches the spectacular array of lights, which have caused the lighthouse to gleam a blinding shade of white
Hard to believe: The Northern Lights fill the sky with an eerie green above Ayr, Scotland, last night
Gleaming: The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights as they are commonly known, at St Mary’s Lighthouse and Visitor Centre in Whitely Bay, North Tyneside
Visible: Such light displays in the sky often occur in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, but they were visible in North Tyneside
Amazing: A sightseer points at the Northern Lights at Embleton Bay in Northumberland
Colourful: The bay was lit up with purple, blue and green colours as millions of particles entered the earth’s atmosphere
The lights were also captured by photographers above Scotland-based homes in Carrbrige in Inverness-shire, and Inverkirkaig, near Lochinver in Sutherlandshire.
Mr Thompson said the aurora over Britain had been expected, after a burst of activity on the sun around four days ago, but that it had been brighter than expected.
‘Aurora displays usually happen around the North and South poles, so to see them this far south is pretty rare,’ he told the Eastern Daily Press.
‘I haven’t seen one like that in Norfolk for about 20 years.’
Beautiful: The Northern Lights are pictured over a house, garden and greenhouse in Carrbridge, Inverness-shire
Mesmerising: A beautiful display of lights is pictured above the house in Carrbridge – giving the property warm yellow glow
Spectators: Dozens of people gathered to watch the breathtaking display of lights at Whitely Bay in North Tyneside last night
Daylight: The night appears to turn into day as the lights shine over St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitely Bay
Mark Thompson told the BBC: ‘The electronically charged particles take two or three days to get here’ Above, the Northern Lights at Sycamore Gap, Hadrian’s Wall
He added: ‘When they do get here they cause the gas atoms in the sky to glow. It is as simple as that’
The aurora was due to last for several hours before fading during the early hours of this morning.
‘Scientifically, we don’t learn a lot from aurora borealis – they are just nice to look at,’ he added.
‘But I’m writing a book on astonomical photography at the moment and, as luck would have it, I got the chance to get some pictures of my own.’
The Aurora Borealis or as most people know them as the Northern Lights, is giving spectacular displays, lighting up the skies over the UK under clear skies
Breathtaking: A streak of red can be seen in the sky as dozens of rocks rest on Embleton Bay in Northumberland below
View: The Northern Lights are pictured above Stonehaven War Mermorial in Aberdeen (left) and Thurso in Caithness (right) last night
The aurora was due to last for several hours before fading during the early hours of this morning
The skies were lit up red and green last night as a spectacular display of the Northern Lights illuminated parts of the country