Mancs stunned as Northern Lights glow above Greater Manchester in rare solar storm

What a special night.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 11th May 2024

Greater Manchester was treated to a once-in-a-lifetime display of the Northern Lights overnight.

The skies above our region lit up in shades of pink and green in a shimmering spectacle that had the nation stunned.

The Northern Lights are normally only visible much further north, with many travelling to countries like Iceland and Norway to catch a glimpse – but last night, the show came to Manchester.

It’s all been caused by a ‘severe solar storm, which hit Earth on Friday night, and may continue into Saturday.

Space weather experts issued the rare geomagnetic storm warning – the first in 20 years – on Friday.


But most of us were blown away to actually see the Northern Lights dancing over Manchester.

The huge solar storm predicted by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) supercharged the Aurora Borealis.


They said that ‘additional solar eruptions could cause geomagnetic storm conditions to persist through the weekend’.

Then here comes the science: “A large sunspot cluster has produced several moderate to strong solar flares since Wednesday at 5am ET.

“At least five flares were associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that appear to be Earth-directed. SWPC forecasters will monitor NOAA and NASA’s space assets for the onset of a geomagnetic storm.


“CMEs are explosions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona. They cause geomagnetic storms when they are directed at Earth.

“Geomagnetic storms can impact infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on Earth’s surface, potentially disrupting communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio and satellite operations.

“SWPC has notified the operators of these systems so they can take protective action.

“Geomagnetic storms can also trigger spectacular displays of aurora on Earth.”

If you look to the skies over Manchester tonight, there’s a chance you’ll see the Northern Lights again.


Just try not to cry as much as we did.

In pictures – the Northern Lights over Manchester

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Featured image: The Manc Group