Spectacular Aurora views down east coast

image copyrightPaul Baralos
image captionPaul Baralos took this picture showing the Aurora taken above South Queensferry and showing all three crossings of the Firth of Forth

A spectacular display of the Northern Lights could be seen down Scotland's east coast in the early hours of Friday morning.

BBC Scotland news website readers have been sending in images of the Aurora Borealis from places on the east coast as far south as Edinburgh and North Berwick.

image copyrightMarta Krakowiecka
image captionMarta Krakowiecka took this photo about 2am in Dundee

Scotland is the best place in the UK to observe the Northern Lights but it is usually much further north.

The beautiful light shows are caused by the interaction of the solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the Sun - and Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

The Earth's magnetic field traps some of the particles and sends them on a collision course with molecules in the atmosphere.

As a result of these repeated, tiny crashes, energy is released in the form of light.

image copyrightIsla Davies
image captionIsla Davies says she had almost given up hope of seeing the Northern Lights but when the clouds cleared the sky exploded into colour. This shot was taken at North Berwick West Bay
image copyrightAlan O'Donnell
image captionAlan O'Donnell from Edinburgh took this from Davidson's Mains, looking north over the Forth to Fife. He says the Northern lights show lasted over an hour,
image copyrightJason Gabriel
image captionJason Gabriel took this from Auchmithie in Angus

The aurora was also seen across other parts of Scotland, including Oban on the west coast.

image copyrightNick Edington
image captionNick Edington took this photo at taken about 01:30 from Pulpit Hill, Oban
image copyrightFiona Baker
image captionFiona Baker said she had been aurora hunting multiple times to Iceland and Finland without much luck, but never expected to see them like this on holiday in the UK. She took this overlooking Dunollie Castle in Oban, Scotland, at 1.30am.

All images are copyrighted

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