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Northern Lights could be visible over parts of the UK tonight

The Northern Lights could be visible across northern parts of the UK tonight, the Met Office has said.

The phenomenon, also known as Aurora Borealis, often appears above Iceland and Norway but is only occasionally visible from the UK.

Generally, sightings are limited to Scotland.

According to the Met Office, a "combination of fast solar winds" and the "recent arrival of a Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun" could cause a display on Sunday evening into Monday morning.

The Northern Lights are the result of particles from the sun being carried on solar winds and then interacting with the Earth's atmosphere after being channelled to the polar regions by the planet's magnetic field.

According to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, different gases have different effects on the colour of the display.

Green indicates solar particles interacting with oxygen, while purple, blue or pink hues are caused by nitrogen.

Read more:
Skies turn red and green over Scotland
Northern Lights visible above Iceland

A deep red can sometimes be seen as a result of solar particles interacting with oxygen at very high altitudes.

Only under "severe space weather conditions" can the lights be seen throughout the UK - even then, star-gazers need a clear sky and less light pollution.