Northern Lights appear over Emersons Green

PEOPLE living in Emersons Green, Pucklechurch and the surrounding area had a rare chance to see the Northern Lights above their heads, thanks to a huge solar storm.

The green, red, purple, pink and blue lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are caused by ejections from the Sun disturbing gases in the Earth’s magnetosphere, and are more commonly seen in the Arctic Circle, with northern Scotland usually the most likely place to see them in the UK.

But on the night of May 10-11 an extreme geomagnetic storm, caused by the approaching peak in the 11-year solar cycle, combined with clear skies overhead, meant that the lights could be seen late at night across the UK, including South Gloucestershire.

The lights could be more easily spotted using a smartphone or digital camera than the naked eye, as the lenses enhanced the colours.

Denise Holmes captured the lights on camera above her home near Emersons Green park, while Samantha Brain took her picture in Mangotsfield.

Mark Seacombe took his picture of the lights in Pucklechurch.

The lights are expected to be visible again in the coming weeks: experts say the sunspot cluster that caused the last display will be facing the Earth again around the beginning of June.