The Met Office has said the Northern Lights could appear over England tonight (Sunday, February 26) and tomorrow (Monday). Usually only Scotland and parts of northern England are treated to glimpses of the Aurora Borealis on the rare occasion they can be seen in the UK, but they could be visible much further south this time.

In a tweet shared just before 6.30pm, the Met Office said: “The Aurora Borealis may be visible as far south as central England tonight where skies remain clear. The Northern Lights are also likely to be seen again on Monday night.”

It comes just a few days after a Bristol resident took a photo of the sky outside their home tinged with a strange green glow. The witness said it looked just like the Northern Lights, although other explanations emerged from people who were more sceptical that they could be seen so far south.

Read more: Bristol reacts to mysterious green glow that could be Northern Lights

The Met Office’s map suggests the natural display could move in from about 7pm tonight through to about 4am tomorrow morning. Its video modelling shows the tip of Scotland tinged with red from about 9pm, which appears to indicate a ‘100 per cent’ probability of the aurora.

The Aurora Borealis is a natural and spectacular light display that causes streaks of colour to ‘dance’ in the sky, often in shades of green and purple. According to Royal Museums Greenwich, it’s the result of “atoms and molecules in our atmosphere colliding with particles from the Sun”.

The beautiful ‘curtains’ of light are then caused by the lines of force in the Earth’s magnetic field. Countries closer to the Arctic Circle are often best associated with the spectacle.

Best places to see them in UK

However, the Met Office says the occurrence “can be occasionally seen in the night sky over Britain”. Its guide states: “The northern lights are best seen in darkness, away from any light pollution.

“The lights generally extend from 50 miles to as high as 400 miles above the Earth’s surface…The best conditions to view the lights are when the sky is dark and clear of any clouds.

“Cloud cover ultimately blocks the view of the light. Ideally, the lights will be best viewed away from any light pollution, in remote areas, facing the northern horizon – north facing coasts produce some of the best viewing locations. The northern lights are most active during the Equinox and Solstice in March/April and September/October.

“Predominantly the northern lights are best witnessed in Scotland, North England, North Wales and Northern Ireland. However under severe space weather conditions, the lights can be seen throughout the UK.”

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