BBC News

Aurora and rare moonbows light up the night

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image copyrightJamie Fraser
image captionJamie Fraser photographed the Aurora Borealis from Nairn

The Aurora Borealis could be seen in the skies from parts of Scotland overnight.

Also known as the Northern Lights, the displays are linked to activity on the surface of the Sun.

The aurora is caused by the interaction of solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the Sun - and Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

When weather conditions are favourable, Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland offer some of the best places to observe the aurora, or Northern Lights as the phenomenon is often known.

image copyrightAndy Walker
image captionAndy Walker's image of a moonbow at Durness in Sutherland
image copyrightAndy Walker
image captionMoonbows, also known as lunar rainbows, are a rare sight. This picture was also taken by Andy Walker at Durness

Moonbows were also spotted overnight.

Also known as a lunar rainbow, the rare optical phenomenon is caused when the light from the moon is refracted through water droplets in the air.

image copyrightAndrew Allan
image captionAndrew Allan's image of the aurora at Blairgowrie in Perthshire
image copyrightGordon Mackie
image captionGordon Mackie's picture of the aurora over Thurso Bay in Caithness
image copyrightRuth Adams
image captionRuth Adams saw the Northern Lights from Lairg in Sutherland
image copyrightSimmer Dim/BBC Weather Watchers
image captionBBC Weather Watchers also captured displays of the aurora, including this shot taken from Mavis Grind, Shetland
image copyrightMercuryblue/BBC Weather Watchers
image captionBBC Weather Watcher Mercuryblue's picture of the Northern Lights from Portknockie in Moray

Related Topics

  • Durness
  • Lairg
  • Shetland
  • Nairn
  • Blairgowrie
  • Thurso
  • Northern Lights
  • Portknockie