Friday 21 October 2016

Aurora Borealis visible from Ireland due to huge solar storm

Jenny Kirkham

Published 23/06/2015 | 17:51

Northern Lights over Iceland
Northern Lights over Iceland

The Northern Lights were visible from parts of Ireland last night due to a huge solar storm.

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The storm, which could disrupt the power grid and GPS, is giving people across the UK and Ireland the chance to see beautiful auroras.

The north coast appears to have the best views, with cloud cover likely to spoil it elsewhere.

Helen Chivers from the Met Office said: "We are expecting a similar reaction on Wednesday evening but the intensity of the lights will depend purely on the cloud cover at the time.

"Sky watchers in the North of Ireland have the best chance of witnessing the aurora just before dawn on Thursday morning."

Kenneth McDonagh in Ballyshannon, Donegal said: "To see the northern lights during the summer solstice is a very rare sight and to capture it is something extraordinary, especially as a display like last night has never been captured over Ireland this time of the year."

"Last night a G5 geomagnetic storm hit Earth sparking of a powerful Aurora display, the highest you can get. A storm this big means we in Ireland were given the chance to see this beautiful display twilight."

Auroras are produced when charged particles from the sun interacts with the earth’s upper atmosphere.

However, during severe solar storms such as the one that hit the earth last night, auroras can be seen much further south than normal.

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