Scotland

Spectacular Aurora views down east coast

Paul Baralos took this picture showing the Aurora taken above South Queensferry and showing all three crossings of the Firth of Forth Image copyright Paul Baralos
Image caption Paul Baralos took this picture showing the Aurora taken above South Queensferry and showing all three crossings of the Firth of Forth

A spectacular display of the Northern Lights could be seen down Scotland's east coast in the early hours of Friday morning.

BBC Scotland news website readers have been sending in images of the Aurora Borealis from places on the east coast as far south as Edinburgh and North Berwick.

Marta Krakowiecka took this photo about 2am in Dundee Image copyright Marta Krakowiecka
Image caption Marta Krakowiecka took this photo about 2am in Dundee

Scotland is the best place in the UK to observe the Northern Lights but it is usually much further north.

The beautiful light shows are caused by the interaction of the solar wind - a stream of charged particles escaping the Sun - and Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere.

The Earth's magnetic field traps some of the particles and sends them on a collision course with molecules in the atmosphere.

As a result of these repeated, tiny crashes, energy is released in the form of light.

Isla Davies Image copyright Isla Davies
Image caption Isla Davies says she had almost given up hope of seeing the Northern Lights but when the clouds cleared the sky exploded into colour. This shot was taken at North Berwick West Bay
Alan O'Donnell Image copyright Alan O'Donnell
Image caption Alan O'Donnell from Edinburgh took this from Davidson's Mains, looking north over the Forth to Fife. He says the Northern lights show lasted over an hour,
Jason Gabriel took this from Auchmithie in Angus Image copyright Jason Gabriel
Image caption Jason Gabriel took this from Auchmithie in Angus

The aurora was also seen across other parts of Scotland, including Oban on the west coast.

Nick Edington Image copyright Nick Edington
Image caption Nick Edington took this photo at taken about 01:30 from Pulpit Hill, Oban
Fiona Baker said she had been aurora hunting multiple times to Iceland and Finland without much luck, but never expected to see them like this on holiday in the UK. She took this overlooking Dunollie Castle in Oban, Scotland, at 1.30am. Image copyright Fiona Baker
Image caption Fiona Baker said she had been aurora hunting multiple times to Iceland and Finland without much luck, but never expected to see them like this on holiday in the UK. She took this overlooking Dunollie Castle in Oban, Scotland, at 1.30am.

All images are copyrighted

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