The Northern Lights are one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in the world, caused by charged particles emitting during a solar flare which collide with the magnetic field.Many flock to Iceland and other Nordic countries to be in with the best chance of seeing them, as they are notoriously difficult to predict.Sometimes they can be visible in the UK, and those wanting to see it for themselves are in luck with a forecast showing them tonight.
How can you watch them and where will they be visible?Thanks to the large solar flare earlier this week, which released a large Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), the Northern Lights will be visible today and tomorrow (14 and 15 March).It will be the strongest in Northern Scotland, although may be able to be seen throughout other parts of the UK.Looking for them between 9pm and 6am when it is darkest is advised.
Alistair McLean, Managing Director of The Aurora Zone explained why it will be possible in March to see them: “This time of year does coincide with the equinox which is often associated with higher levels of solar activity, and the Space Weather Prediction Centre is suggesting that we might see KP5 on Wednesday 14 March.“The KP index is the scale used to measure geomagnetic storms and it ranges from 0 (very little activity) to 9 (huge!) and, as a basic rule of thumb, the larger the number, the further south the lights can be seen.”He also explained why this means Britons will be able to see it from the UK instead of having to travel further North.“This means that the Northern Lights may be visible from Northern Scotland but as we always say, it’s more likely that they will be seen within the Aurora Zone itself,” he said.
“For those going in search of the Aurora in Northern Scotland we suggest following elements of our unique Aurora hunting formula.”On The Aurora Zone website, they suggest a number of tips to be able to see the Northern Lights in the best way.Avoiding light pollution can make a huge difference, so staying away from populated cities and heading for the countryside instead.Understanding the KP index can also help, as even a KP 0 means Northern Lights can be seen.
The Northern Lights were previously visible in the UK in February 2018.