Get us in your inbox

Aurora Borealis
Photograph: Shutterstock

You might be able to see the Northern Lights in the UK tonight

The aurora borealis may be visible in Scotland and northern England

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Usually, you don’t see much of the Northern Lights in the UK. Sometimes they’re visible in certain parts of Scotland on especially dark nights, but in general the aurora borealis is pretty difficult to spot this far south of the Arctic Circle.   

Until last night, that is. Thanks to a solar flare, they were visible in many parts of the country. And now they’re back. There’s a pretty chance you’ll be able to see the phenomenon in both Scotland and northern England tonight (April 1)

The Northern Lights are caused by activity on the surface of the sun. Particles expelled from the sun are captured by the Earth’s magnetic field, colliding with our atmosphere and appearing as glowing lines in the sky. Usually, sightings of aurora are limited to either the North or South Poles.

However, an alert from the British Geological Survey on Tuesday warned of ‘geomagnetic disturbance’ caused by a mass ejection of particles from the sun. Such is the scale of the solar flare that there’s a pretty decent chance the Lights will be visible in many parts of the country.

Our advice? If you’re currently in Scotland or northern England, drive out to somewhere dark, high and quiet, and pray for clear skies. Then keep your eyes peeled for a spectacular show.

Got five minutes to spare? Want to tell us what life is like in your city? Take the Time Out Index survey here.

Latest news


    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!