Spectacular Sights for Stargazers
This shot of a rare and spectacular display of the Northern Lights, visible in Northumberland last week, was taken at Bamburgh Beach by budding young photographers Josh Maidwell and James Ratliff.
The phenomenon is usually confined to countries close to the Arctic Circle, but locals and visitors to the area were treated to a spectacular display off the coast of Northumberland earlier this week.
Aurora Borealis has been spotted in Northumberland before, but remains a very rare sight. It is caused by collisions between electorally charged particles from the sun entering the earth’s atmosphere. Displays in the Arctic Circle are both frequent and impressive, but it is extremely rare for the Northern Lights to be enjoyed extensively in the UK.
The light show by the aurora borealis on Thursday night was the result of an unusually clear, cold night combined with a strong solar storm. The display was particularly visible in Northumberland due to our exceptionally dark skies, the darkest in England, which saw areas in Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water and Forest Park being internationally recognised as Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, the third largest of it's kind in the world.