Lonely Planet Writer

Northern Lights spectacular seen around UK and Ireland

Stargazers in the UK and Ireland were treated to an extra beautiful sight on Sunday with an amazing display of the Northern Lights much further south than they are generally seen.

The Northern Lights were visible over Northern Ireland and the UK on Sunday night.
The Northern Lights were visible over Northern Ireland and the UK on Sunday night. Image by Irishmanlost Facebook Page

People from around the countries spotted the lights, which were visible as far south as Oxfordshire in the UK, when they are generally only able to be seen in northern Scotland. The lights were viewed in northern counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, shine over the Sycamore Gap at Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. The ethereal spectacle is caused by charged solar particles interacting with the Earth's magnetic field and is usually only visible in the far north of Scotland.
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, shine over the Sycamore Gap at Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. The ethereal spectacle is caused by charged solar particles interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field and is usually only visible in the far north of Scotland. Image by Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Images and videos of the lights filled social media on Monday and Tuesday with happy Europeans who managed to capture a view – but there is likely little debate over who got the best view. British astronaut Tim Peake, currently aboard the International Space Station, posted an image as they passed through “aurora soup”.

Tim Peake Tweeted an image of the Northern Lights from space.
Tim Peake Tweeted an image of the Northern Lights from space. Image by Tim Peake Twitter

Watch a timelapse of the lights here.