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submitted 1 month ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

The Northern Lights are set to be visible across large parts of the UK overnight as a huge solar storm is going to hit Earth.

America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reportedly issued its first severe solar storm warning since 2005 yesterday as a huge geomagnetic storm races towards Earth - meaning it could be the most powerful experienced in almost two decades.

It's set to hit overnight, and could supercharge the Northern Lights, making them visible in Scotland, northern England and Wales and even further south if conditions are right.

But the impressive Aurora Borealis could also potentially interfere with infrastructure, including the power grid and satellites when it hits.

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[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Never thought they'd be worth seeing this far down south (Midlands, bad light pollution), but was pleasantly surprised last night. Nothing compared to what I've seen up in Shetland but still amazing!

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

I missed them, of course. They are set to return tonight but probably not as good.

BBC News - Northern Lights: Where to see them in the UK on Saturday night https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68995042

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Overheard a lady tonight claiming they were visible "all around, everywhere, just get outside" on the phone to her friend in the centre of Birmingham. Tried to ask her for tips, but she was too distracted by it all & not looking at the sky in any case.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

That was incredible! Just back from getting up on the hills in Hertfordshire and the reds and green aurora visible to the naked eye were stunning.

Never thought I would see that in this country.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Just to manage expectations, the northern lights don’t look nearly as good in real life. They look like night clouds.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

na not last night. that was fucking incredible!

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Kinda like well defined clouds with a shape to them and emit light

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Mmmmmrrrm. Idk, saw them as a child & though I had not heard of them at the time & therefore had no expectations, not even the most dramatic, high-tech camera footage has come close to those moments.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

This could be useful: https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/aurora-30-minute-forecast Also, if you ever get the opportunity, go see the northern lights inside the arctic circle. Full colours across the sky is something else. It’ll be winter time for obvious reasons, and therefore typically cold as fuck, but definitely worth it.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Thanks for that.

A friend went on an excursion from northern Iceland, but I don't think he saw anything. My brother was working somewhere near Tromso.and was blown away.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

https://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk/

Is a really good site. They even have an app that sends notifications

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

I've just been on that site. Lovely resource.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Reckon it’s worth taking a drive out of London to spot the aurora?

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Update: Worth it, thanks for the tips everyone!

Took a drive out to a little town near Newmarket (Ousden) that seemed to be recommended as a stargazing spot. Top of a hill, hardly a cloud in the sky, sliver of a moon, and not even too cold. What a perfect night!

Even on an iPhone 13 mini without a tripod or any skill in photography we managed to get a couple of amazing snaps.

Finished up with some motorway services doughnuts on the way home in the wee hours.

Overall:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - would do it again.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Ex-astronomer nerd here. I would, unless light pollution is also a problem in the countryside. I saw the aurora twice when I was a teen. It was a long time ago, but definitely memorable.

Here in Ohio it's hard to find any place with dark skies. Even farmers have high output lights attached to every barn and outbuilding. It comes off as a bit paranoid on their part, but maybe there are roving gangs of werewolves that I'm not aware of.

If you do find a dark place, give your eyes 20 minutes to dark-adapt. Don't look at any terrestrial light directly and you'll find that the available light will be enough to get around. If you do need a flashlight (sorry - torch) you can cover it with a red film to avoid ruining your night vision. It does make a difference when star gazing.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Just go in knowing it likely will not be sheets of aurora like you see elsewhere but instead quick splashes of green hues. Still could be pretty cool though, hope you can see something!

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

The Standard has a London-specific article, which suggests it is guarantee in the North and could cover the whole country. So check your local weather maps (I use Wunderground) for a clear patch and give it a go.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Exciting stuff! Just an hour or two until it’s dark. Fingers crossed!

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

See you back here!

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

It says it'll hit "overnight", but surely in 2024 we can be more accurate than that?

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Geomagnetic activity is already spiking and articles say it could be visible Friday and Saturday night, so "overnight" means all night but they reckon just after sunset and just before dawn should be the best displays.

edit: the Met Office video suggests 22:00 is a good time.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

Awesome, thanks!

this post was submitted on 10 May 2024
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