People living in the UK will be able to see the northern lights tonight as a solar storm hits Planet Earth.
A small solar storm will batter our world tonight, causing beautiful aurorae to light up the sky.
Daniel Billett, a member of the AuroraWatch UK team, told Sky News: ‘Today and tomorrow has been forecast for a G1 minor geomagnetic storm by the North Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
‘This is due to fast streams of energetic particles finally making their way to Earth from the sun.
‘Over the next couple of days, there’s a very real chance we could see the aurora in places around the UK.’
The aurora will be visible in Scotland and parts of northern England and Ireland, although it may be visible further south if the storm is stronger than expected.
Whilst the solar storm which causes the Northern Lights is not strong enough to blast humanity back to the Stone Age, it could play havoc with the satellites which power the world’s communication networks.
‘A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth,’ said the Space Weather Prediction Center.
‘The largest storms that result from these conditions are associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) where a billion tons or so of plasma from the sun, with its embedded magnetic field, arrives at Earth.’
The huge space squall coincides with the formation of ‘equinox cracks’ which form around the equinoxes on March 20 and September 23.
These are the moments when the the Earth and Sun line up so that day and night are of roughly equal duration.
But this also causes huge cracks to open up in the magnetic field which stay open for hours.
Whilst this isn’t necessarily dangerous, it does cause stunning aurora because it lets the sun’s radioactive ‘wind’ gush into the atmosphere.