Over the past few days, sightings of the northern lights have been reported and shared throughout the UK, the Met office saying that there is a chance that the public will get to benefit from a few more chances in coming days.


The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a spectacular, colourful display of light commonly seen in the night sky in the northern hemisphere. Auroras occur when charged particles, electrons and protons, collide with gases in the earth’s upper atmosphere. These collisions produce tiny flashes that fill the sky with colourful light, appearing as the wonders that we see and cherish from our viewpoints. Due to the fact that billions of flashes repeatedly occur in sequences, the auroras appear to move, or “dance” in the sky, as if knowing that we are watching and performing for us in due course. 


These auroras are commonly seen in northern countries, those closer to the North Pole, such as Iceland as the earth’s magnetic field steers the charged particles towards these areas. 


Our planets magnetic field forms an invisible shield that protects us from solar wind, but, from time to time, this solar wind grows too strong and penetrates this magnetic field, interacting with gases and generating these magnificent auroras.


For these reasons exactly, the main being the fact that sightings around areas such as the UK, these amazing views have struck the country with shock. Sightings have been reported as far south as Cornwall, and the auroras have also been seen around Scotland, the displays being described “one of the best in a very long time” by many spectators, including BBC weather watchers.


Wednesday (March 1) may be the last chance to see the lights in the UK, especially around London, however increasingly cloudy skies mean the chances of spotting the northern lights are “severely limited”.


Although these astonishing sights are unfortunately coming to an end, it is important to remember that moments like these must be appreciated, being vital that we take every opportunity we get to make the most of our beautiful world.