THOSE with their eyes to the skies on Sunday night (February 26) may have caught a very rare sighting of the northern lights.
The aurora was caught on camera by photographer Nigel Wilkins, spectacularly lighting up the sky above Kenilworth Castle.
Though it was difficult to see the kaleidoscopic colours with the naked eye due to light pollution, Nigel explained on his facebook page – www.facebook.com/photographybynigelwilkins – the light show in all its technicolour was visible using a camera lens.
But it was also possible to see the aurora’s movement across the sky without equipment.
An aurora is formed by a solar flare erupting on the Sun, sending charged particles towards Earth which interact with our atmosphere.
The northern lights are often seen in Scotland but rarely in more southern parts of the UK, but this week they have been seen from Northern Ireland to Norfork.
The Sun goes through an 11-year solar cycle measured in terms of how active its magnetic field is. As this magnetic field changes, so does the amount of activity on its surface.
The last solar minimum was in 2020, so activity on the Sun has been increasing since then and it is currently the most active since 2014.
Solar maximum is expected in 2025 and more frequent displays of the aurora are likely in the coming years.