Recent Active Sun Prompts Stunning Auroras Over England

On the evening of the 5th of August 2011 the Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights were seen as far South as Southern England! At approximately 18:00 Universal Time (19:00 BST) the Earth’s magnetosphere was hit by a coronal mass ejection from the sun, triggering a powerful geomagnetic storm and Aurora.

This storm measured 8 on the K index (aurora richter scale) which ranges from 0 – 9 so this was a big storm.

It is quite common to see Aurora in Northern Scotland, but at approximately midnight, aurora was seen as far south as Berkshire, Wiltshire and Hampshire in Southern England. It is incredibly rare to see aurora this far south — the last time I remember was in 2003.

I was incredibly lucky to briefly see the pale greenish hue of the aurora through clouds from my back garden in West Berkshire.

Unfortunately a lot of people in England and Scotland were under thick cloud and missed this fantastic display, but thanks to fantastic astrophotographers such as Raymond Gilchrist (@RayGil on twitter) we are able to see the aurora through his images.

Did you see any aurora activity in your location? Geomagnetic activity remains high as I write this article, so I hope the sky clears and we are given another fantastic display of this rare phenomenon soon.

Aurora on the River Tay, Newburgh, Fife, Scotland Credit: photosbyzoe

7 Replies to “Recent Active Sun Prompts Stunning Auroras Over England”

  1. im sorry this isnt anything to do with the aurora Borealis this is just nuclear glow. i know because i took a similar photo of my town last week and it looks the same apart from a faint blue sky. also im kinda confused as to why its said that southern england saw it and both pictures are from cumbria which is northern england

  2. Some green glow from the northern lights was visible from Atlantic Canada and for a short period (less than an hour – maybe longer but the Sun had just set so it would be impossible to know) there were green ribbons dancing in the northern sky.

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