The Northern Lights are visible in the skies above Lancashire and Greater Manchester tonight.

People have been snapping incredible photographs of the aurora borealis late on Friday night.

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One woman who went to Rivington to watch the spectacle said: "I thought it would just be nothing as it usually is but it was absolutely unbelievable! There are more than 100 people up and around Rivington at midnight, it was a lovely atmosphere."

The stunning pinky-purple and green lights have been spotted across Bolton, Blackrod, Edenfield, Edgworth, Horwich, Padiham, Blackburn, Rawtenstall, Oswaldtwistle, Accrington , Prestwich, Bury and Stoneclough. 

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon had said on Friday there was a good chance for the Northern Lights to be seen - and they did not disappoint. 

Messenger Newspapers: The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, glow on the horizon at Another Place by Anthony Gormley, Crosby Beach, Liverpool , Merseyside . Picture date: Friday May 10, 2024.

He said: “Although the shorter nights will limit the visibility window, there’s a good chance to see the aurora, particularly on Friday night and especially in Scotland, Ireland and parts of northern England and Wales.

“There could even be visibility further south if you have the right equipment.

“Those conditions could continue on Saturday night but we still have to work out some details on where exactly that will be.”

Mr Dixon said the combination of clear skies and enhanced activity from the sun reaching Earth would improve the chances of seeing the display.

Aurora displays occur when charged particles collide with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere around the magnetic poles.

In the northern hemisphere, most of this activity takes place within a band known as the aurora oval, covering latitudes between 60 and 75 degrees.

When activity is strong, this expands to cover a greater area – which explains why displays can be occasionally seen as far south as the UK.

The Northern Lights made a spectacular late night appearance at Highest Point festival in Lancaster’s Williamson Park on Friday night.

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Following a striking performance by Sam Ryder and a breathtaking set by Tom Odell, the aurora borealis wowed thousands by coming into view over the iconic Ashton Memorial.

Festival organiser Rich Dyer said: “We’re used to stunning sunsets and astonishing views at Highest Point but seeing the Northern Lights is truly special.”

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Highest Point festival continues tonight with performances from legendary boy band Busted, the iconic Gok Wan and rising star Caity Baser.

Messenger Newspapers: Northern lights show an angel above Haslingden, by Megan Whitehead

Messenger Newspapers: Taken from Holgate Ribble Valley of Pendle Hill. PIC: Jack Dale from Oldham

Messenger Newspapers: "My daughter age 10 raced outside even though she had gone to bed to see the Northern lights. A neighbour sent a picture so I dashed upstairs to get my daughter out of bed."

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The Northern Lights, visible over Oswaldtwistle (10/05/24)

Messenger Newspapers: Picture of the northern lights taken in the Smithills area on 10-05-2024, by Caroline 
Messenger Newspapers: Managed to capture a beautiful picture of the Northern Lights right from my back garden, Smithills, Bolton, by Louise Isherwood