Rare Northern Lights illuminate London’s night sky 

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12th May 2024 – (London) Stargazing in the vibrant glow of city lights can often present a challenge, but on Friday, the capital was treated to a rare spectacle as the Northern Lights made an appearance.

Also known as the aurora borealis, the captivating lights graced the skies across the entire country, courtesy of one of the most potent geomagnetic storms in recent years.

The public responded enthusiastically, and BBC London compiled a collection of the finest images submitted by viewers.

Those who missed the display on Friday may have another opportunity to witness the phenomenon firsthand on Saturday night.

Rachael captured a breathtaking image showcasing shades of pink and purple dancing above Bromley in southeast London, while Peter Barrett witnessed vibrant green, blue, and pink lights illuminating the sky behind the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch.

Ordinarily, sightings of the Northern Lights are confined to the northern regions of the U.K. The previous occurrence of an extreme geomagnetic storm of this magnitude was in 2003, making Friday’s event a truly rare occurrence.

The extreme geomagnetic storm that unfolded on Friday was classified as a G5 event, which denotes the highest level of strength.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cautioned that storms of this magnitude have the potential to impact infrastructure, including satellites and power grids. However, no disruptions have been reported thus far.

Northern lights were also spotted in Slovakia.