NORTHERN LIGHTS ALERT: Big solar storm could trigger Aurora Borealis in local area today

A solar storm set to slam into Earth today could result in sky gazers being treated to a stunning displays of the Northern Lights throughout Scotland.

The storm will today hit the northern hemisphere and trigger Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights, being visible to the naked eye in as far south as parts of northern England and Scotland, as well as North Michigan and Maine in the United States.

© Danny Pettigrew
The Northern Lights taken from Clatto Park, by Danny Pettigrew, Kirkton

According to Alistair McLean, Managing Director of The Aurora Zone: “This time of year does coincide with the equinox which is often associated with higher levels of solar activity, and the Space Weather Prediction Centre is suggesting that we might see KP5 on Wednesday 14th March.

“The KP index is the scale used to measure geomagnetic storms and it ranges from 0 (very little activity) to 9 (huge!) and, as a basic rule of thumb, the larger the number, the further south the lights can be seen.

“This means that the Northern Lights may be visible from northern Scotland but as we always say, it’s more likely that they will be seen within the Aurora Zone itself.”

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who spotted the solar storm using two NASA satellites, said: “A minor geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect for 14 and 15 March, 2018. Aurora may be visible at high latitudes.”