To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Northern Lights to be visible from UK today following ‘cannibal’ solar storm

Northern Lights to be visible from UK today following ‘cannibal’ solar storm

Heightening solar activity will make the aurora visible further south

The Northern Lights could be visible across parts of the UK today as a 'cannibal' solar storms hits Earth.

Solar storms are a fairly regular occurrence, and it's not uncommon for them to hit Earth. In fact, the Northern Lights - also known as aurora borealis - are simply radiation from the Sun being deflected by Earth's magnetic field.

This is why when there is a large amount of solar activity - like in a solar storm - the Northern Lights become visible further south, due to more solar radiation hitting the Earth.

Wel, this week us Brits have the chance of catching a glimpse of the famous phenomenon from our very doorsteps.

The increased solar activity means that aurora borealis will be visible further south than usual from tomorrow (20 July).

Whereas normally you would expect to see it in the northern parts of Canada, Iceland, Greenland, or Norway, tomorrow it could be visible in Scotland and even further south in the UK - though thanks to overnight cloud and less hours of darkness, the Met Office has said it is difficult to pinpoint specific cities.

However, as ever with such phenomenon, there are of course no guarantees.

If you would like to get the best chance of get a good look at the Northern Lights the first thing you should do is make sure you're not in a large built-up area.

The Northern Lights.

In big cities, light pollution can obscure the sky and make features such as stars, galaxies and the Northern Lights less visible.

During extreme events such as a solar storm, this can result in some disruption on Earth and could be manifested in different weather patterns, with things like radio signals being interrupted.

The very largest solar flares could cause a lot of disruption if they hit Earth head on - if a large solar flare hit Earth, it could knock out electronics systems.

Sean Elvidge, associate professor of space environment at the University of Birmingham, told the MailOnline: "These storms manifest as major disturbances in Earth's magnetic field, potentially causing various space weather effects.

"On one hand, they can result in radio blackouts, disrupting communication systems on our planet. On the other hand, these storms can produce awe-inspiring displays of natural beauty known as auroras."

Solar flares can lead to the aurora being more visible.
Photo 12/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

But why is the aurora more visible towards the poles than closer to the equator? The reason is the Earth's magnetic field.

When solar radiation hits the Earth, it is directed down the Earth's magnetic field, running north to south. This means that weather radiation strikes the Earth in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and is all directed towards the poles.

So you have a far greater concentration of energy from radiation which has hit all the over the world coming together at the poles. That's what produces an aurora.

So for any Brits located in Scotland or the south, make sure to keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of days!

Featured Image Credit: Marc_Hilton/Getty/NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

Topics: News, UK News, Space