Northern Lights to colour Irish skies tonight

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Digital Desk staff

Stargazers are advised to keep their eyes peeled this evening as a display of the Northern Lights is set to be visible over the island.

Though the lights of the Aurora Borealis may be visible throughout the week, this evening is the time they are most likely to be seen from Ireland.

David Moore of Astronomy Ireland told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland that the lights may not appear in the green hues many might expect and urged those interested in catching a glimpse of the spectacle to check the sky throughout the week.

You see the colours in photographs but to the naked eye unless it's a very strong display, you usually only see a greyish and whitish colour.

"You see the colours in photographs but to the naked eye unless it's a very strong display, you usually only see a greyish and whitish colour in the sky,” he said.

Mr Moore said that the strong hues of pink and green traditionally associated with the lights are generally not visible to the naked eye and are usually better picked up by cameras.

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He advised those watching from Ireland to train their gaze on the North.

“We'll be seeing it from hundreds of kilometres away unless it moves very far south, which has happened in the past, so we can only hope for that, but look for a glow in the north – that's the tip,” he said.

"This is not a huge storm that's expected, we never really know the intensity, so you might only be looking at a small glow on the northern horizon.”

People even in Kerry people shouldn't worry, Ireland is such a small island that it doesn't make much difference being on one end of this island to the other.

Mr Moore those watching from a rural area with little light pollution would be most likely to glimpse the display, though light from this week’s full moon could also interrupt viewing.

"Normally we'd say a rural location would be good but unfortunately we have a full moon this week, so the moon will be quite bright,” he said.

"The North coast is slightly better favoured but people even in Kerry people shouldn't worry, Ireland is such a small island that it doesn't make much difference being on one end of this island to the other.

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"The only advantage people on the North coast have is they're looking over the Atlantic ocean so there won't be any artificial lights in the distance that could trick you.

"Also it may be cloudy at the beginning but you can see this from dusk till dawn, so just keep checking the sky if you do have clouds."

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