Featured image: Daragh McDonough, @DonegalMaps
After a stunning northern lights show over Donegal last night, the question on sky gazers’ lips is… will they be back?
Last night was one of the strongest displays seen in Ireland and the UK in over 10 years, with G3 storm levels creating dancing lights across clear skies nationwide.
Experts say there is a high chance the aurora borealis will be visible over northern parts of Ireland again this Monday night.
However, cloud cover is expected to be an issue tonight.
While there is never a guarantee, the aurora forecast is predicting strong conditions once more tonight between 9pm – midnight. The forecasted Kp index is 6, which means there could be a bright, dynamic and colourful aurora display.
So last night’s aurora was stunning. Here are a few images from the 2000+ images I shot last night! The lights danced across the northern horizon, waxed and waned, and rose high into the starry night. As high as Polaris. A night to remember. Taken at Lough Salt #Donegal 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/9uHw8KVYCS
— DonegalMaps (@DonegalMaps) February 27, 2023
Alan O’Reilly, Carlow Weather, said the optimum times are between 9pm and 11pm.
People hoping to hunt down the display are advised to check their weather apps to avoid clouds and stay safe in coastal areas.
David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland, advises people to: “Look in the north after sunset. You should at least see an arc of light low in the north, and if the display picks up as expected this could move much higher in the sky.”
The UK Met Office said there is a “similar expectation for later on 27 February as another coronal mass ejection arrives and there is a chance of conditions strengthening to G3/Strong geomagnetic storm levels”.