Glasgow & West Scotland

Aurora Borealis could light up Scottish skies

Aurora Borealis
Image caption AuroraWatch UK have said people may have a second chance to see the natural spectacle later

Scottish skies could be treated to a display of the Northern Lights on Tuesday night, experts have said.

The Aurora Borealis is mainly visible in the Arctic but every decade or so can be seen clearly across the UK.

On Monday night the lights were spotted in Lewis, Durness and as far south as Ayrshire.

Scientists at AuroraWatch UK said the burst of radiation and magnetic energy could also disrupt communications equipment.

The phenomenon is caused by charged gas particles which flow away from the Sun as a "solar wind" interacting with the Earth's magnetic field.

The particles "excite" gases in the atmosphere and then make them glow.

The colours depend on the type of gas - a red or green glow is oxygen and the blue and purple colours are produced by nitrogen.

Jim Wild, space scientist at AuroraWatch UK, said people may have a second chance to see the natural spectacle later.

He said: ''The main effect has now passed but if tonight is clear and there is a dark sky go outside and have a look north.

''You might be able to see an afterwash from last night.

''People can log on to AuroraWatch UK and register for sighting alerts.''

Do you have pictures - still or moving - of the Northern Lights? Send them to the BBC Scotland news website at

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