The Northern Lights will be visible in the UK this evening, the Met Office has confirmed.
I know what you’re thinking – Aurora borealis? At this time of year, at this time of day, localised entirely within your kitchen?
Cliched Simpsons jokery aside, it might still be possible to view the Northern Lights tonight without having to fly all the way to Iceland or somewhere more northern than the UK.
That’s because there’s been some more solar activity that is churning everything up in the skies above our heads.
Just recently, a solar flare collided with the earth, resulting in the lights being visible as far south as Kent and Cornwall.
While we’re unlikely to see it reach that far south this time, there has been some more solar activity up there, meaning that the aurora could be spotted in Scotland.
What’s more, the light show might spin over into Friday night as well.
As ever, you’ll need to be somewhere clear to see it, don’t expect to see it through the clouds.
It’s all caused by a ‘coronal hole’ that has appeared on the surface of the sun, generating solar winds of up to a million miles per hour in the process, firing them out at the unsuspecting earth.
That’s nothing to be worried about, by the way.
Anyway, the Met Office has now confirmed that they expect the aurora to be spotted from parts of the UK tonight.
Krista Hammond, from the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre, said: "Minor solar storms are possible on Thursday and Friday night, which means aurora sightings would be possible in northern Scotland under clear skies.
"As this is a fairly minor solar storm, the auroras aren't expected to be visible much further south on this occasion."
She added: "This is expected to be a G1 solar storm, which is the lowest category for these events and the most frequent events we see."
Explaining the solar phenomenon behind it, Daniel Verscharen, a professor of plasma physics at University College London, told MirrorOnline: "Coronal holes are regions from where fast solar wind is launched into space.
"Fast solar wind has speeds of about 700 or 800km per second and is thus almost twice as fast as the average solar wind.
"This particular coronal hole is of interest to us because it has pointed towards Earth - this means that it has released fast solar wind towards the Earth."
As this is a minor solar storm, it is not expected to do any damage to satellites or power infrastructure, though these sorts of things can happen.
Featured Image Credit: Nature Picture Library / Alamy Northern Nights Photography / Alamy
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