An observatory on the west of Scotland has told stargazers that there is a 'good chance' of catching the aurora borealis spectacle this evening.

The Coats Observatory, based in Paisley, say that as long as the clouds stay away there could be a 'decent show' in prospect.

The best areas to catch the aurora are well away from street lighting.

To create the spectacular scenes, energised particles from the sun strike the Earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph, but our planet's magnetic field defends us from the onslaught. 

As Earth's magnetic field redirects the particles toward the North Pole, the dramatic process converts into an atmospheric phenomenon that is the Aurora Borealis which dazzles and excites scientists and skywatchers alike.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Eilidh Beck captured a rare red beam blast of Aurora over the Isle of Cumbrae on November 5 2023Eilidh Beck captured a rare red beam blast of Aurora over the Isle of Cumbrae on November 5 2023 (Image: Eilidh Beck)

A spokesperson for the Coats Observatory said: "It looks as though there might be a good chance of some aurora activity tonight.

"According to Space Weather there are at least three streams of solar wind heading our way. If everything lines up in the right way we could get a decent show - as long as the clouds stay away!

"As always the best advice is keep and eye on the usual aurora and weather forecast sites, and if you have a good, clear, open horizon to the north go and take a look.

"The darker the location the better, so getting away from light pollution will greatly improve the show."

The Met Office also provide guidance on seeing the Aurora:

Tips for seeing the aurora

You need a clear night with no cloud cover

Find a dark location with no light pollution

Look toward the northern horizon

Be cautious that geomagnetic activity can cause disturbances to satellite navigation (GNSS/GPS etc)

For more details, go here.