Northern Lights seen above Whitby skies

Win Keech's spectacular photo of the Northern Lights seen out to sea from Whitby on Monday night
Win Keech's spectacular photo of the Northern Lights seen out to sea from Whitby on Monday night
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IF you looked up at the night sky on Monday night, there is a fair chance you may have seen something fairly unusual off the coast of Whitby – a 10-minute display of the Northern Lights.

The phenomenon, not commonly seen this far south, was captured on camera by Win Keech who emailed it to the Whitby Gazette.

He captured the stunning sight looking due north from Whitby at around 10.30pm.

Displays of the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis to give them their scientific name, are more powerful further north, but have made brief appearances over Whitby’s skies in recent times.

Mark Dawson, who writes the Whitby Gazette’s Eye on the Night Sky column, did not personally see this week’s display but said a fellow member of Whitby and District Astronomical Society had seen them over Westerdale a couple of weeks ago.

The lights had also made a faint appearance at a star party in Whitby shortly after the regatta.

The northern lights are believed to be the result of solar winds entering the Earth’s atmosphere colliding with gases, releasing energy that becomes visible in the night sky.