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Friday 24 November 2017

WATCH: Northern Lights put on dazzling display in Irish skies

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A dazzling Northern Lights display which an expert said was “almost like being in Iceland” drew together eager stargazers keen to witness their appearance in Irish skies.

The natural phenomenon swept across parts of Ireland on Tuesday night, while other areas also caught a glimpse of the ethereal event.

This timelapse was captured in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal last night.

Strong conditions, such as dark, clear skies, will remain for the next few days, forecasters said, with the Met Office looking into what could be another appearance tonight.

The lights, scientifically known as the aurora borealis, are usually witnessed in Scandinavia, said Dr Nathan Case, a space physicist at Lancaster University and an AuroraWatch UK team member.

Tuesday’s phenomenon was caused by fast solar winds emitted by a hole in the outermost layer of the Sun, Dr Case said.

“Last night’s aurora was driven by fast solar wind coming from a coronal hole. The solar wind is a plasma, or electrically charged gas, that constantly blows out from the Sun.

“Particularly fast or strong solar wind conditions can produce visible aurora, such as last night,” he added.

Dr Case says those wanting to catch the phenomenon should keep an eye out for alerts online at AuroraWatch UK.

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