Scotland gets a view of the Northern Lights

Northern Lights visible across much of Scotland at the weekend.

Northern Lights: As seen in Alford in Aberdeenshire
© Graham Scott

Much of Scotland got a view of the Northern Lights on Sunday night, with green and purple colours visible across the sky.

The Northern Lights, known properly as the Aurora Borealis, are caused by charged particles colliding with the earth's upper atmosphere. These particles cause a change in atoms of the upper atmosphere which release light as they return to their normal state.

The aurora can take a variety of colours, depending on which atoms are involved, although green is the colour most commonly seen as this is associated with oxygen atoms.

The northern lights are normally only visible further north as the particles are attracted to the magnetic pole.

However, on Sunday the phenomena was visible across much of Scotland on account of a solar flare which resulted in a far greater amount of the particles hitting the earth.

While the Northern Lights occasionally get seen in the northern isles, this weekend they were visible across much of the country, and were visible in areas such as Edinburgh and South Lanarkshire.

It is thought that the lights may also be visible on Monday night, although they might not be as intense as they were at the weekend.

STV weather presenter Sean Batty said: "I have just returned from Iceland where I have been filming for Weatherwatch, which will be shown in February on STV.

"During my time in Iceland we spotted the Northern Lights and this was also down to the flare from the sun at the end of last week.

"The aurora has been forecast to be hight over the last few days, however, this is set to decrease again over the next few days with displays most likely being restricted to areas further north than Scotland."

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