Sunday night sees Northern Lights over Ceredigion

VISIBLE over areas of Ceredigion last night was the stunning natural phenomenon Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. Lucky stargazers in the county caught a glimpse of the light display, and photographer Carl Thornton captured these in the hills of Llangollen.

 

We spoke to Kris Fry at Elan Valley Astronomy, whose patience under the night sky this weekend paid off with these brilliant photos:

Elan Valley Devil's Bridge 2

Images by Les Fry – Elan Valley Astronomy

Images by Les Fry - Elan Valley Astronomy

Images by Les Fry – Elan Valley Astronomy

The images were taken from a gateway on the roadside of the A4120 west of Devil’s Bridge over looking the Rheidol Valley.

Looks like we got there just in time for the big light show, as the skies soon came alive after we got there with a fantastic light show and then it faded after about 45 minutes!

 

The lights are caused by electrically charged particles from the Sun entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Strong solar winds cause protons and electrons to move between layers of the atmosphere, rising through the thermosphere and then losing their energy.

The sight was unusually far south as irregular solar activity caused the aurora’s visibility to be greatly widened. Astronomers and enthusiasts usually have to travel at least as far as the Norwegian town of Narvik, 140 miles inside the Arctic Circle, and travel at times of heightened solar activity to stand the best chance.

Despite being relatively southern in comparisons to areas that usually see the Northern Lights, Ceredigion and North Wales have been illuminated by this event many times in recent years, in February 2014, March 2015 and June 2015.