Highlands & Islands

Bright lights: Images of Wednesday's Aurora Borealis

Aurora from Peterhead Image copyright Little Red Man
Image caption The Northern Lights in an image taken from near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire

Stargazers across Scotland photographed the Aurora Borealis on Wednesday night.

Scotland is one of the best places in the UK to observe the Northern Lights, which are related to activity on the sun.

On Wednesday night, the aurora was visible from the Isle of Skye, as well as Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and North Berwick in East Lothian.

Lancaster University's AuroraWatch UK said that 2017 had started quietly for aurora watchers, but overnight on Wednesday and Thursday the UK received "a whopping 13 total hours of elevated geomagnetic activity".

Five of those hours had activity strong enough to trigger amber-level alerts to the displays. Amber is AuroraWatch UK's second highest alert for chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

The rise in the activity was due to what is known as a negative polarity coronal hole high-speed stream.

BBC Radio Scotland's Brainwaves programme has looked at the science behind the Northern Lights, a phenomenon that some scientists believe could become harder to see from Scotland.

Breakish Image copyright Skye Woody
Image caption An image of the aurora from Breakish on Skye
North Berwick Image copyright Ela Dzimitko
Image caption Wednesday night's display was visible from North Berwick
Lochwinnoch Image copyright Gary Chittick
Image caption An image taken at Lochwinnoch
Aurora from Glasgow Image copyright Greg Irwin
Image caption A photograph taken from near Glasgow
Aurora from Duffus Castle Image copyright Alan Tough
Image caption The aurora, seen here from Duffus Castle, is related to activity on the sun
Aurora from Bishopton Image copyright John W
Image caption A view of the display from Bishopton
Aurora from Aberdeen Image copyright Niall Fuller
Image caption The Northern Lights from Aberdeen
Aurora from Cairn o' Mount, Aberdeenshire Image copyright Martin Kennedy
Image caption The display from Cairn o' Mount, Aberdeenshire

All images are copyrighted.