Rare Spectacle: Northern Lights Illuminate UK Skies

Sky watchers across the UK were treated to a rare spectacle as the Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis, illuminated the night sky.

Excited observers captured stunning images of the lights visible across the country, extending even to the south coast of England. If you missed this mesmerizing display, there’s still hope, as another opportunity to witness the aurora borealis is anticipated on Saturday night.

The breathtaking phenomenon was made possible by one of the strongest geomagnetic storms Earth has experienced in years. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a rare solar storm warning, heightening the chances of witnessing the Northern Lights.

Friday’s extreme geomagnetic storm reached the highest classification of G5, posing potential risks to infrastructure such as satellites and the power grid, cautioned the NOAA. Fortunately, there have been no reported disruptions thus far.

Ross Easton, a spokesperson for the Energy Networks Association, emphasized the industry’s preparedness for a variety of events, including those extending into space. He noted that space forecasts were under close monitoring over the weekend to ensure readiness for any potential impacts.

The clear skies experienced on Friday evening provided optimal conditions for aurora sightings across nearly all regions of the UK.

Aurora activity is anticipated once more on Saturday, although the geomagnetic storm is forecasted to remain in the “strong” category. While not expected to reach the extreme levels observed on Friday, early indications suggest favorable viewing opportunities.

Similar to Friday, weather conditions are forecasted to be conducive for sightings, but it’s essential to wait until at least 22:30 BST when darkness sets in for optimal viewing conditions.

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