Northern Lights: Where to see them in the UK on Saturday night

by 24britishtvMay 11, 2024, 10 a.m. 21
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Here is everything you need to know about how to catch them on Saturday night.

Where can I see the lights?

That means you have a chance to see it no matter where you are, as long as the skies are clear (which is looking likely).

On Friday, we saw pictures from Inverness to Kent, and Omagh to Angelsey to Norwich, so it truly is a nation-wide spectacle.

Ordinarily, somewhere away from light pollution with a clear view of the night sky has the best opportunity to see the lights, but based on Friday night, that didn't matter.

What time will they be brightest?

Aurora activity is expected again across the UK and while the geomagnetic storm is still expected to be in the 'strong' category, early indications are that it may not reach the 'extreme' of last night with activity declining.

Weather conditions are ideal with clear skies but it needs to be dark, so you'll need to wait until at least 10:30pm.

At this time of year, when nights are shorter, 11:30pm into the early hours of the morning is when the night is darkest.

The activity of the lights itself is more unpredictable, the Met Office says, so expect it to ebb and flow with different colours in different places at different times.

How do I get the best photo of them?

On Friday night, our BBC Weather Watchers captured the magic with more than 3,000 photographs sent into us between 21:00 and 1:00 on Saturday morning.

Given the lights are not expected to be as bright as they were on Friday, you may need to employ some camera tricks to get the most out of your photo if you are heading out on Saturday night.

If you have a newer iPhone model, you will want to switch on night mode, though it may do this by itself.

All phone users will want to play with the exposure to capture the best of the lights – most phones will bring up this option by tapping the screen when in the camera app.

Why are the lights shining for two nights in a row?

The last time we had an extreme geomagnetic storm hit Earth was in 2003, so Friday's event was rare. We are much more used to seeing the Northern Lights limited to northern parts of the UK.

There have been more occasions in the last year or so where we have seen a weak showing of the aurora in southern parts of the UK.

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