Hopes raised for Northern Lights show over Scotland

Hopes of a display of the Northern Lights over Scotland this week have been raised.

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 12:03 pm

A large solar flare has released an explosion of electromagnetic matter with the highly charged particles known to play a part in generating the spectacular Northern Lights show.

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Spectacular Northern Lights display stretches down Scottish coast

The solar storm is expected to hit the earth’s atmosphere today (Wednesday, March 14) and tomorrow, primarily in Northern Scotland but possibly in other parts of the UK.

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The Northern Lights on display over Fife in March 2017. PIC: Chris Combe/Flickr/Creative Commons.

Its arrival ahead of the spring equinox on March 20, which marks the time when the sun crosses the equator, from south to north, is also significant.

Alistair McLean, Managing Director of The Aurora Zone, a holiday company which specialises in Northern Lights tours, said: “This time of year does coincide with the equinox which is often associated with higher levels of solar activity, and the Space Weather Prediction Centre is suggesting that we might see KP5 on Wednesday 14th March.

“The KP index is the scale used to measure geomagnetic storms and it ranges from 0 (very little activity) to 9 (huge!) and, as a basic rule of thumb, the larger the number, the further south the lights can be seen.”

The Northern Lights on display over Fife in March 2017. PIC: Chris Combe/Flickr/Creative Commons.

Mr McLean said the lights “may be visible” from Northern Scotland as a result.