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Northern lights 'eruption' set to dazzle Norway

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Northern lights 'eruption' set to dazzle Norway
File photo: AFP/Johnathan Nackstrand/NTB Scanpix
17:08 CET+01:00
A solar flare is set to bring an intense Aurora Borealis show on the final two nights of 2015, illuminating the sky in some areas that don't usually witness the region's famous northern lights.

The eruption of a sunspot cluster earlier this week sent a huge burst of energy racing towards earth, provoking the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre in America to issue a warning of a geomagnetic storm.

Such strong solar activity should mean that even in southern Norway, Scandinavia's famous northern lights should be easily seen as long as the skies are clear.

Though weather forecasts suggest cloud cover for most of the duration of the cosmic light show, any break in clouds should may the the lights visible - they can be bright enough to be seen from an illuminated street.

Even if cloud cover does obscure the lights this week, patience will be rewarded, according to norrskensverige.com, a blog for Swedish Northern Lights enthusiasts.

Strong Aurora Borealis are expected to light up the first week of 2016, due to a coronal hole, a region where the solar wind is allowed to leave the sun faster than normal and which sparks strong displays, says the blog.

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a famous feature of Scandinavian autumn and winter nights but they can prove difficult to spot unless you live in the far north of Norway.

The phenomenon has been described as nature's own disco and tourism based around the natural light show is increasing.

The Aurora Borealis are usually best seen before midnight with the most intense part typically lasting less than ten minutes.

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