Aurora Borealis: Magical photos show the Northern Lights shining brightly over Nottinghamshire

Reader Mark Haslehurst captured some incredible photos of the Northern Lights above Shirebrook, near Mansfield Reader Mark Haslehurst captured some incredible photos of the Northern Lights above Shirebrook, near Mansfield
Reader Mark Haslehurst captured some incredible photos of the Northern Lights above Shirebrook, near Mansfield
These photos taken by reader Mark Haslehurst really captured the beauty of the Northern Lights last night!

Stunning photos have shown the Northern Lights shining brightly over Nottinghamshire. 

Residents across the East Midlands were treated to a breathtaking spectacle last night (April 16) as the Aurora Borealis made a rare appearance in UK skies. 

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Sky-gazers were quick to share photos of the pink glow on social media, with those in the Peak District afforded the best view of the phenomenon. 

Reader Mark Haslehurst, in Shirebrook, near Mansfield, managed to capture some great photos of the lights as they shone brightly in the night sky. 

The Aurora Borealis above Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, April 16The Aurora Borealis above Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, April 16
The Aurora Borealis above Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, April 16

The Northern Lights occur as a consequence of solar activity and result from collisions of charged particles in the solar wind colliding with molecules in the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Most of these particles are deflected away, but some become captured in the Earth’s magnetic field, accelerating down towards the north and south poles into the atmosphere. 

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The beautiful colours of the lights are caused by different gases burning, with nitrogen and oxygen the two primary gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The lights are caused by electrically-charged particles coming into the atmosphere at very high speedThe lights are caused by electrically-charged particles coming into the atmosphere at very high speed
The lights are caused by electrically-charged particles coming into the atmosphere at very high speed

Green streaks we see in the aurora are characteristic of oxygen, while hints of purple, blue or pink are caused by nitrogen.

The Northern Lights are predominantly seen in Scotland and northern England, but on rare occasions they can be spotted over the midlands and even as south as Cornwall. 

Tracking websites, such as AuroraWatch UK are a good way to see when the lights will be visible.