No reappearance of Northern Lights in north Northumberland

The Northern Lights at Holy Island on Thursday night. Picture by Jane Coltman
The Northern Lights at Holy Island on Thursday night. Picture by Jane Coltman

Sky-watchers in north Northumberland missed out on a repeat performance of Thursday’s spectacular Aurora Borealis displays last night.

On Thursday night, the amazing Northern Lights show, the best in 20 years, started between 8pm and 9pm, reaching a crescendo between 10pm and 11pm when Lancaster University’s AuroraWatch UK alerts issued its second highest grading. But activity was still visible at 2am on Friday in the north of the area, particularly from Holy Island.

The glowing skies are caused by electrically-charged particles from the sun entering the Earth’s atmosphere and AuroraWatch UK takes geomagnetic activity measurements to alert aurora chasers to the best places to see the display.

It has four levels of activity: Green, no significant activity, aurora is unlikely to be seen from anywhere in the UK; Yellow, mnior geomagnetic activity, aurora is unlikely to be visible from the UK except perhaps the extreme north of Scotland; Amber alert, possible aurora, aurora is likely to be visible from Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland; Red alert, aurora likely, it is likely that aurora will be visible from everywhere in the UK.

Thursday’s Northern Lights reached amber on the scale at its peak and, with clear skies again last night, aurora watchers were hoping for a repeat performance, but the the scale never tipped beyond the green level.

If you missed it on Thursday, have a look at some of the photos in our slideshow.