North East skies alight with colourful aurora

 Photographers across the North East were lucky enough to capture a beautiful aurora on the 13th September as dark skies glimmered pink, yellow and green.


Staff and volunteers at Kielder Observatory in Northumberland were among many who photographed the aurora borealis as it illuminated parts of the North East and beyond.

Aurora MA Sept23

Image: Northern Lights captured by Kielder Observatory volunteer Michael Auton


Dan Pye, Director of Astronomy and Science Communication at the observatory said:

"It was thought that the peak of activity would be in the afternoon, but it came back again throughout the night until around four am. It was a rare treat to have such a colourful display, but they do happen. 

"It happens when there have been ejections of material from the sun that enter Earth's magnetic field and interact with gases in our atmosphere. During the equinox, or close to it, we can get stronger aurora which have more chance of being seen from the UK as happened the other night. 

"If the weathers clear, it's best to be on standby for such occasions and keep an eye on aurora hunting websites and social media channels."

Aurora JW Sept 23

 Image: Nothern Lights captured by Kielder Observatory volunteer Julie Winn at Sycamore Gap in Northumberland