The Northern Lights dance over northern England

January 24, 2012
This colorized NASA image, taken Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows a flare shooting out of the top of the sun. It was taken in a special teal wavelength to best see the flare. Space weather officials say the strongest solar storm in more than six years is already bombarding Earth with radiation with more to come. The Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado observed a flare Sunday night at 11 p.m. EST. Physicist Doug Biesecker said the biggest concern from the speedy eruption is the radiation, which arrived on Earth an hour later. It will likely continue through Wednesday. It's mostly an issue for astronauts' health and satellite disruptions. It can cause communication problems for airplanes that go over the poles. (AP Photo/NASA)

(AP) -- The Northern Lights have lit up the skies above Scotland, northern England and northern parts of Ireland after the biggest solar storm in more than six years bombarded Earth with radiation.

The posted a geomagnetic storm warning on Tuesday after residents were also treated to a spectacular show in the night sky.

Ken Kennedy, director of the Aurora section of the British Astronomical Association, said that the lights, also known as the , may be visible for a few more days.

The Northern Lights are sometimes seen from northern parts of Scotland but the unusual solar activity this week means the lights have also been visible from northeast England and Ireland, a rarity.

Geomagnetic storms cause awesome sights, but they can also bring trouble.

According to the , problems can include current surges in power lines, and interference in the broadcast of radio, TV and telephone signals.

Explore further: Northern Lights thrill southern Norway


Related Stories

Canadian space agency beams northern lights over Web

September 20, 2010

Skywatchers can turn their gaze to a computer for a glimpse of the northern lights: the Canadian Space Agency on Monday launched an online observatory streaming the aurora borealis live over the Internet.

Storm to bring Northern Lights to Britain

February 17, 2011

Britain should experience spectacular Northern Lights displays from Thursday due to a large solar storm which could disrupt communication networks, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

An easy guide to observing the Aurora

September 28, 2011

With the recent solar activity and the high possibility of more coming up, here is an easy guide to observing the aurora. An aurora is a natural light display high in the Earth’s atmosphere, caused by energetic particles ...

Recommended for you

Climate scientist hits out at IPCC projections

October 13, 2015

As a new chairman is appointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC) a University of Manchester climate expert has said headline projections from the organisation about future warming are 'wildly over optimistic.'

'Bridge' fuel may escalate atmospheric greenhouse gas

October 13, 2015

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests there has been a decline in measurable atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the U.S. for the past seven years, a Cornell scientist says ...

Study sees powerful winds carving away Antarctic snow

October 13, 2015

A new study has found that powerful winds are removing massive amounts of snow from parts of Antarctica, potentially boosting estimates of how much the continent might contribute to sea level. Up to now, scientists had thought ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.