Northern Lights show over Scarborough

The Northern Lights seen over Jacksons Bay, Scarborough, on Sunday December 20 2015'picture: Stephen Bowden
The Northern Lights seen over Jacksons Bay, Scarborough, on Sunday December 20 2015'picture: Stephen Bowden

The Northern Lights made a rare appearance over Scarborough on Sunday night.

The aurora borealis are caused by energetic particles from the Sun being pulled into the atmosphere by the Earth’s magnetic field and hitting atoms in the atmosphere, causing light to be given off.

The phenomenon was spotted by people in Scarborough, Ganton, Whitby, Pocklington and Thixendale and even seen further south in England, such was the strength of the display.

Mark Tissington spotted the light show over Ganton at around 7.05pm on Sunday night.

Mark, of Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society, said: “The image was an eight second exposure at ISO800 so the camera sees more detail and colour than the human eye (though it was visible as a greenish band and became brighter as our eyes got used to the dark).

“Our members regularly monitor for aurorae and we were delighted to see this display just before Christmas.”

The lights were also seen over the Yorkshire Wolds by Lissa Alexandra Haines.

“My partner Stu and I have been trying to see them for years,” she said.

“I’ve even been to Iceland and Lapland to try to witness this natural phenomenon without any luck and when we found out that they were visible from our hometown of Pocklington, we grabbed the camera and shot out to the highest point nearby which is Garrowby Hill by Givendale and around Thixendale.”

Stephen Bowden also sent us a photo of the northern lights (above) over Jackson’s Bay in Scarborough, while sightings were also made up and down the coast, including in Whitby and Filey.

The lights are usually seen further north towards the Arctic circle between October and March. Appearances over the Yorkshire coast are usually less common.

Log on to our website – www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk – to watch a slideshow of photos.