The Northern Lights illuminate the Lake District

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Thanks to a burst of solar wind, the Northern Lights will be seen from the UK over the next few weeks and the dazzling light display has already begun right here in the Lake District!

For those who have always dreamed about travelling to Iceland to see the Northern Lights in action, but haven't made it yet, you may just spot the natural sensation right here in Britain as experts predict the celestial display will last weeks.

The Aurora Borealis - also known as the Northern Lights - was seen over parts of the UK after the Earth underwent a unique cosmic alignment. It is usually known to appear much further north around the Arctic Circle and in countries like Finland, Sweden and Iceland but an unusual burst of space weather pushed the natural wonder towards Britain.

The radiant display has already been seen in some parts of the country, and the photos are absolutely stunning. 

Northern Lights over Whitehaven Harbour

The natural wonder is caused by solar particles colliding with the Earth's atmosphere. The Sun's surface occasionally explodes and sends high-speed solar winds towards Earth. In recent days, the Sun's coronal holes - the parts of the Sun most likely to burst into space - aligned with the Earth.

We were treated to a fabulous display in Cumbria because the sky was clear and according to forecasters, the disturbance was strong! Marvellous news! This photo was taken at Whitehaven looking out over the Solway towards Scotland.

The Met Office have said: “We are now in a period, lasting a few weeks, where these two factors are working together to increase the chances of geomagnetic disturbances, which in turn bring with them the aurora.

“The strength of the disturbance directly relates to how far south the aurora is visible, or how far north if you are in the southern hemisphere, and of course you need clear skies to see it.

“The season of the year has an influence. The science behind this is not fully understood, but the two equinoctial periods in spring and autumn tend to produce an increase in aurora compared with winter and summer.

“If the wind picks up then we might see it further south. It depends on speed how we see it on Earth and what impact it has.”

The sight is best seen in areas with low light pollution, with those in the north (Scotland, North England and Cumbria) having a greater chance of witnessing the aurora.

We'd love to see your photos of the Northern Lights! Share them with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #sallyscottages