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It's a Northern Light-show in Donegal

THIS spectacular display of the Northern Lights was visible off the coast of Donegal last night.

The aurora borealis cosmic light show drew crowds to the north of Ireland to see the display at its best.

The Northern Lights set the sky ablaze at Malin Head, Fanad and Inishowen as well as in parts of Scotland and northern England.

These pictures by Mary McIntyre in Fanad, Co Donegal, and photographer Adam Rory Porter give an insight into what was on show.

The solar phenomena has been spotted frequently in Donegal, but it can be difficult to predict its occurrence until the night in question.

Astronomy Ireland said that the best advice is to go as far north as you possibly can to view the light show.

The Northern Lights appear as shimmering waves of light when atoms in the Earth's high-altitude atmosphere collide with energetic charged particles from the sun. The natural phenomenon is usually visible in the aurora zones in Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Experts said that this year the display was at its best in about ten years, as the solar maximum, the sun's 11-year cycle of activity which effects the frequency of the aurora borealis, reaches its peak.