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Northern Lights sightings possible over Derbyshire

Caption: Travel overseas, Oct 26, In search of the Northern Lights.

Caption: Travel overseas, Oct 26, In search of the Northern Lights.

Look up at Derbyshire’s sky tonight and you might see the Northern Lights.

According to scientists monitoring solar activity, a mass ejection of particles from the sun two days ago means that the spectacular attraction may light up the night sky.

Experts suggested that between midnight and 3am would be the optimum time for views of the lights – also known as the aurora borealis.

Specialists working on AuroraWatch UK – a research programme operated at Lancaster University – confirmed that the solar storm was heading this way, but urged people not to be overly confident of viewings.

“We do not want to get too many people’s hopes up only to see them dashed, but are observing closely and the conditions do look promising,” said Steve Marple, a member of the AuroraWatch UK research team. “We expect the solar storm to have arrived by the evening – and then just hope that the orientation of the magnetic field will be in the right direction.”

Mark Eustace, of Chesterfield Astronomical Society, said: “It is possible that we’ll see them.

“If people look north in a very dark part of Derbyshire just after midnight, they might see something.

“It would be great if there was a big light show but I’m not confident. One thing I would mention is this – if they show, make sure you have a camera to hand because the camera will capture more of the light than we can see so even a visually quiet show could result in some good photos.”

• If you’re lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in Derbyshire and take any pictures or video, email michael.broomhead@jpress.co.uk

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