Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Expert Comment

Show all news items

Astronomy researcher Faith Hawthorn on tonight's possible Northern Lights

Astronomy researcher Faith Hawthorn, Astronomy and Astrophysics Group, University of Warwick, said: “Aurorae are caused when a large amount of charged particles from the Sun (usually from a type of Solar storm called a 'coronal mass ejection') interact with the Earth's magnetic field, and interact with the atmosphere. The oxygen in the atmosphere makes a green glow, and the nitrogen glows purple. They're expected to be seen more frequently at the moment as the Sun has a cycle of how active it is, and it usually reaches a peak of activity and Solar weather every 11 years. We're reaching that peak at the moment, so we can expect to see aurorae more often and in more areas. To see them you need a clear night, dark skies with as little light pollution as you can get and good timing! Regions further North in the UK are more likely to see the aurorae.”

Mon 25 Mar 2024, 15:25 | Tags: Physics, Space, astronomy, astrophysics