The legendary Northern Lights put in a rare appearance over Hampshrie and West Sussex.
The Aurora Borealis are caused when a stream of charged particles from the sun enter the high atmosphere and are deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field.
But to people watching from the ground, it just made a spectacular late evening light show.
Around 20 members of the Hampshire Astronomical Group travelled to their observatory at Clanfield where group president Robin Gorman said: ‘It was probably the best display this century.’
He said it was best just after 9.30pm. There were bright, constantly-changing coloured streamers and curtains of light with a red-tinged arc, like a rainbow, stretching from horizon to horizon. Some watchers even travelled up to Portsdown Hill to get a better view of the phenomenon whose appearance in Britain is usually restricted to Scotland.
Catherine Brason of Broxhead Road, West Leigh, described the sky she saw.
She said: ‘Pink came through and these beams of light came down. It was like a black hole in the sky.’