Shropshire Star

Chance to see Northern Lights in Midlands skies just after dark tonight seems to have gone

Scientists say that the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights on the horizon from locations across the Midlands this evening, are fading away.

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The Met Office and their counterparts in the USA had been tracking the arrival of a Coronal Mass Ejection - a jet of high speed plasma - that exploded out of the sun a few days ago.

In an update it seems the big event happened during daylight.

The Met Office Space Weather website, updated in the early hours of Friday, said: "A stronger CME arrival is then expected to follow today, but this is currently forecast to arrive during daylight hours today.

"Minor to moderate storm levels are expected this coming night, leading to potential visible aurora over Scotland and on northern horizons across northern England and Northern Ireland, where skies are clear.

"However, the timing of this event is low confidence.

"Any later arrival could potentially delay the strongest geomagnetic storm levels until early tonight, bringing visible aurora to some areas further south, across northern England and parts of Northern Ireland and potentially on northern horizons from locations across the Midlands."

In an update at 4pm on Friday the Met Office said geomagnetic activity has "likely already peaked and therefore out of phase with the hours of darkness for the UK and much of Europe."

But they say that subsiding effects should still result in enhanced aurora viewing Friday night into Saturday morning.

But alas for the Midlands it looks like the space storm won't lead to aurora as far south as Shropshire.

The Met Office says: "Aurora should initially be visible by the naked eye where skies are clear from Scotland and on northern horizons from northern England and Northern Ireland.

"Views should become increasingly restricted to more northerly latitudes across Scotland by the end of the coming night."

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