Will the aurora light up the sky tonight?

The aurora over Holy Island taken in 2016 by our photographer Jane Coltman
The aurora over Holy Island taken in 2016 by our photographer Jane Coltman

Astrophotographers are beginning to twitch with excitement over the possibility of a strong display of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center has released a statement warning that a high-speed solar wind stream is hurtling towards Earth.

Sycamore Gap is a popular spot for aurora hunters such as our photographer Jane Coltman who took this image.

Sycamore Gap is a popular spot for aurora hunters such as our photographer Jane Coltman who took this image.

They have estimated a massive KP 7 storm could be possible in the next 48-hours - and if that happens it could produce a really strong display of the aurora that is visible to the naked eye.

One of the main problems tonight could be cloud cover. At 11pm in Alnwick it is predicted that the sky will be 93% obscured but by 2am that figure drops to 35%. Further south at Seaham the sky will be 96% obscured at 11pm but by 2am the estimate is that the figure will have dropped to 46%.

The moon is at 99% strength tonight and that can also be a hindrance in aurora photography.

However, aurora chasers are a determined lot and the forecasts are not always right!

A previous display of the aurora at Warkworth Castle taken by our photographer Jane Coltman

A previous display of the aurora at Warkworth Castle taken by our photographer Jane Coltman

Social media is a great place to gauge what is happening so keep your eyes on your screens and on the sky and who knows what will happen - Good Luck!