BookitList - The Northern Lights Could Return to the UK in the Next Few Weeks!

The Northern Lights Could Return to the UK in the Next Few Weeks!

If you were wowed by last weekend's stunning Northern Lights, get ready for more! Thanks to a huge solar storm, the UK could be in for another round of this dazzling display in just a few weeks.

Why Now?

The Sun is heading into the most active phase of its 11-year cycle, known as the solar maximum. This period sees an increase in sunspots, making solar storms—and the Northern Lights—more likely.

What's Happening?

During the solar maximum, the Sun's magnetic field gets stronger and more complex, leading to the release of massive energy in the form of solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). These CMEs are what cause the Northern Lights.

What Are the Chances?

According to Professor Mike Lockwood, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, the chances of seeing the Northern Lights in the UK are higher now than at other times in the solar cycle. However, it's not a sure thing. The recent display was due to a series of CMEs from a large sunspot group. While this active region might still be emitting CMEs in about 27 days when it faces Earth again, it's not guaranteed.

Why the Wait?

The Sun, like Earth, spins on its axis. It takes about 27 days for the same part of the Sun to face Earth again. Because the Sun is a ball of gas, its equator rotates faster than its poles. But the solar atmosphere, where CMEs originate, rotates more uniformly. This means it takes a bit longer—about 29 days—for the same solar region to realign with Earth due to our planet's orbit.

What to Expect

While we can't promise another spectacular show, the conditions are right for more chances to see the Northern Lights in the UK. So, keep your eyes on the skies and your cameras ready—you might just catch another magical display soon!

Tick the Northern Lights off your Bookitlist with our guide, and check out our pick of The Best Places to see the Northern Lights

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