SLIDESHOW: Northern Lights seen over Yorkshire

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The Northern Lights made a rare appearance over Yorkshire last night, from the Wolds to Whitby.

The aurora borealis are caused by energetic particles from the Sun being pulled into the atmosphere by the Earth’s magnetic field and hitting atoms in the atmosphere, causing light to be given off.

The Northern Lights seen over Jacksons Bay, Scarborough, on Sunday December 20 2015'picture: Stephen Bowden

The Northern Lights seen over Jacksons Bay, Scarborough, on Sunday December 20 2015'picture: Stephen Bowden

The phenomenon was spotted by people in Whitby, Scarborough, Ganton, Pocklington and Thixendale and even seen further south in England, such was the strength of the display.

This image, sent to us by Mark Tissington, was taken from Ganton at around 7.05pm last night (Sun).

Mark, of Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society, said: “The image was an eight second exposure at ISO800 so the camera sees more detail and colour than the human eye (though it was visible as a greenish band and became brighter as our eyes got used to the dark).”

“Our members regularly monitor for aurorae and we were delighted to see this display just before Christmas.”

The Northern Lights spotted over Ganton'picture: Mark Tissington

The Northern Lights spotted over Ganton'picture: Mark Tissington

The lights were also seen over the Yorkshire Wolds by Lissa Alexandra Haines.

“My partner Stu and I have been trying to see them for years,” she said.

“I’ve even been to Iceland and Lapland to try and witness this natural phenomenon without any luck and when we found out that last night they were visible from our hometown of Pocklington we grabbed the camera and shot out to the highest point nearby which is Garrowby Hill by Givendale and around Thixendale.”

Stephen Bowden also sent us a photo of the northern lights visible over Jackson’s Bay in Scarborough, while sightings were also made up and down the coast, in Whitby and Filey.

The lights are usually seen further north towards the Arctic circle between October and March but there have been some great recent shows in Scotland.

Appearances over the Yorkshire coast are usually less common.