THIS WEEK IN 1989: Hampshire is lit up by Northern Lights

The legendary Northern Lights put in a rare appearance over Hampshrie and West Sussex.

Sunday, 19th March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:53 am

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.’

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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.’