Northern Lights shine over Swanage in rare event: Best photos

In a spectacular show of pink and green, the Northern Lights were able to be seen by the eagle eyed and through a camera lens as far south as Swanage in Dorset.

On Friday 10th May 2024 as it got dark, many alerted by social media posts, headed outside armed with a camera phone to see the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.

Northern Lights over Purbeck
Andy Lyons

Grange Arch in the Purbeck countryside

Lights glowed across the UK

Usually seen much further north in places like Scotland and Iceland, in a rare event, the lights glowed across the whole of the UK, along the South Coast and even as far south as France, Germany and Spain.

Aurora displays occur when charged particles collide with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, sometimes described as a solar storm. This usually happens to the north of the UK but activity was really strong on Friday night, so could be seen further south.

The BBC claims that the last time such an extreme geomagnetic storm hit Earth was in 2003.

Northern Lights over Swanage Bay
Maria Munn

Northern Lights over Ballard Down – a rare sight!

Another light show likely

For those that missed the light show, there’s some good news, as it’s predicted that activity will be good again after dark on Saturday 11th May 2024.

The best way to view the lights is via a camera and to select a long exposure or nighttime setting. Once you know where the colours can be seen in the night sky, it may be possible to make out the coloured tones with the naked eye.

Watch timelapse footage over Swanage Bay

More photos

Matthew Snowdon

Child’s play – the Trevor Chadwick statue

Northern Lights over Corfe Castle
Martin Coward

Unmistakably Corfe Castle!

Northern lights over Swanage
Dell David Keay

Swanage seafront

Northern lights over Swanage
J M Alcock

Lights over Swanage

View from Days Road
A Ayles

View from Days Road

Northern Lights over Purbeck
Richard Murgatroyd

Pink and green glow across Dorset

Matthew Snowdon

Prince Albert Memorial overlooking Swanage Bay

Northern Lights over Swanage

Amazing colours over Swanage

Northern Lights over Swanage
Simon Starmer

Swanage garden illuminated by the Northern Lights

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