15 stunning Northern Lights sightings as UK watched on in awe

15 stunning Northern Lights sightings as UK watched on in awe
‘Stunning’ Northern Lights spotted across UK
Fiona Chester / Benji Salmon / Jo Richell

The Northern Lights lit up skies across parts of the UK, Europe and the US on Friday (10 May) following a powerful solar storm.

The Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis, were spotted in the capital and other major cities including Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

People also reported catching a rare glimpsein countries such as the Czech Republic and Germany, after a severe solar storm hit the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Northern Lights' visibility increased on Friday because of an "extreme" geomagnetic storm, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The NOAA said the G5 geomagnetic storm, which is considered extreme and is the strongest level of geomagnetic storm, hit Earth on Thursday and could affect communications, GPS and power grids.

The cause of this storm is a "large, complex" sunspot cluster and is 17 times the diameter of Earth, with the last storm with a G5 rating hitting Earth in October 2003, causing power outages in Sweden.

The NOAA said the lights could be seen as far south as Alabama and southern California in the US.

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said on Friday there was a good chance for the Northern Lights to be seen.

He said: "Although the shorter nights will limit the visibility window, there’s a good chance to see the aurora, particularly on Friday night and especially in Scotland, Ireland and parts of northern England and Wales.

"There could even be visibility further south if you have the right equipment."

"Those conditions could continue on Saturday night but we still have to work out some details on where exactly that will be."

Dixon said the combination of clear skies and enhanced activity from the sun reaching Earth would improve the chances of seeing the display.

Here are 12 of the most stunning sightings caught on camera across the UK:

Northern lights or aurora borealis are seen over Margate, Kent, South East BritainGetty Images

The Northern Lights were visible over St Mary’s lighthouse near Whitley BayGetty Images

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