Aurora Borealis: Northern Lights expected to be visible across parts of the North East this weekend

The Northern Lights are expected to be visible across parts of the North East this weekend, bringing the iconic lights to the region.

Aurora Borealis: The Northern Lights expected to be visible across parts of the North East this weekend(Photo credit should read HEIKO JUNGE/AFP via Getty Images)
Aurora Borealis: The Northern Lights expected to be visible across parts of the North East this weekend(Photo credit should read HEIKO JUNGE/AFP via Getty Images)

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, may not reach as far south as England on a regular basis, but this weekend offers seekers of the natural light display a chance to see them without leaving the region.

A strengthened solar wind will bring the particles into contact with our atmosphere over a wider area – an area which includes parts of Northumberland.

According to the British Geological Survey, the best chance of seeing the phenomenon over the weekend will be tonight, Friday (April 1), if the skies are clear enough.

The best way to see the lights is to remove yourself from any brightly lit areas as best as possible, including cities and towns which can create a lot of light pollution.

The North East is lucky enough to have the most pristine dark skies in England according to the CPRE Night Blight Report 2016. The entirety of Northumberland National Park and most of Kielder Water & Forest Park became England’s first International Dark Sky Park in 2013, meaning the skies are set to remain perfect for future generations of stargazers.

Those closer to the north of the county will have a better chance of spotting the aurora, with sightings less likely the further south you are.

Locations with a good view of the northern horizon, such as beaches, headlands or the tops of hills, will also have an advantage.

The lights most commonly appear throughout the first half of the night and can appear at any time between sunset and 2:00am.

Those looking to keep an eye on any activity throughout the night cancheck AuroraWatch UK which produces graphs looking at geomagnetic activity over the country.

Further information from across the world can be found through the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Unfortunately, while the forecast for the aurora is good, the same can’t be said for the weather.

The Met Office reports that much of the region will experience some cloud cover as the temperamental weather from this week continues.