Northern Lights dim this week but they will be back

 

THE LIKELIHOOD of being able to catch the Northern Lights again in Ireland this week has dimmed, but the good news is they may be making a regular appearance over the next few years.

With mixed weather being forecast for the coming days it will probably be more difficult to see the colourful display, which has been lighting skies across the country this week.

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, were seen by thousands of people along the north Donegal coast and in parts of Northern Ireland over the weekend and into the early hours of yesterday morning.

The chance of seeing the lights is better in areas where light pollution is low and clear skies are also a prerequisite. But Met Éireann said yesterday that, with mixed weather, visibility will be low.

The lights occur when ionised particles from the sun hit the Earth’s atmosphere and react with gases, in this case oxygen, which gives the red and green colours.

Astronomy Ireland advises those wishing to see the Aurora Borealis that the further north and away from city lights the better.

Conor Farrell, of Astronomy Ireland, said that while the Northern Lights have not been seen regularly over the past few years, more solar activity is expected.

Send in your photographs of the Northern Lights to news@irishtimes.com and view the gallery on www.irishtimes.com