The Aurora Borealis is a pretty rare sight from England. The last time I saw one was back in January 2005! Last night however, everything came together and the illusive northern lights showed up once more.
I know from experience that it pays to check if any auroras are forecast (99 times out of 100 they aren’t!). Websites like spaceweather.com or noaa.gov provide this info, and even offer services to alert you by phone. Checking last night showed an aurora in progress, so I dropped everything and shot out the door. The animation below shows the scene around 5 minutes before the most active part of the display.
I was able to get out to a pretty good location with an attractive little church and less light pollution just prior to a 15 minute burst of stronger activity, when the skies lit up with fast moving curtains of red and green.
The display died down after this, but continued for at least a few hours more, visible as a shimmering curtain of light hanging above the light pollution of York.