The Northern Lights may be visible from Scotland this weekend

The Northern Lights

Forecasters have said that the Northern Lights might be visible from the United Kingdom this weekend (23 March), thanks to a solar storm on its way to Earth.

The National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center has a "moderate geomagnetic storm watch" in effect for March 23 and says the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, could be visible as far south as southern IL and Indiana.

The NOAA predicts the phenomenon, also known as the aurora borealis, could illuminate the skies above Washington state, NY and Wisconsin over the weekend. And when the star belches out electrified gas in what is known as a coronal mass ejection, these particles shoot toward our planet at high speeds. The chances of observing the Northern Lights diminish as you head south because lights from Indianapolis make it more hard to see.

The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.

When this occurs in the Northern Hemisphere it is known as the aurora borealis, while such an event in the Southern Hemisphere is called the aurora australis. "Further north, you're pretty likely to see something", said Diamond.

They are usually concentrated around the Earth's magnetic poles.

"Certainly over Donegal as the horizon looks over the ocean where are there no facing lights, but it's been seen all over the country before, even as far down as Cork".

"As a result, aurora may be visible in Scotland where cloud breaks". In March, clear skies are often hard to come by.

The Canadian Space Agency also recommends watching the aurora closely, as it can move and dance rapidly without warning.



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