WITH the weather getting better and the skies clearer, now is a great time to catch some of the amazing spectacles on offer in our night sky.

This comes as the Met Office reveals that Scotland and other parts of the British Isles are in for a treat as the Northern Lights return tonight (Thursday, April 20).

The last time the Northern Lights were visible in parts of the country was at the end of March when a major solar flare brought the aurora borealis to the UK.

With the Northern Lights returning to Scotland tonight and throughout much of the week, here is everything you need to know.

What causes the Northern Lights as they return to Scotland?

The Northern Lights phenomenon is caused when there is a heightened activity from the sun such as solar winds.

When these winds collide with the Earth's charged atmosphere, the aurora effect is produced, creating spectacular dancing lights in the night sky.

This occurred last month when a powerful solar storm took place following solar winds.

When are the Northern Lights coming to Scotland this week?

The Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre said the Northern Lights would come to Scotland tonight (April 20) and on Friday, April 21.

The Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre's Krista Hammond, said: "Minor solar storms are possible on Thursday and Friday night, which means aurora sightings would be possible in northern Scotland under clear skies.

"As this is a fairly minor solar storm, the auroras aren't expected to be visible much further south on this occasion."

The National: (Canva) The Northern Lights are best viewed from areas with low light pollution(Canva) The Northern Lights are best viewed from areas with low light pollution (Image: Canva)

Where are the best places to see the Northern Lights in Scotland?

The Met Office says that the Northern Lights predominantly take place or are visible from parts of Scotland, Northern England, North Wales and Northern Ireland.

It is recommended that stargazers who are interested in catching a glimpse of the wonder set up camp somewhere with limited light pollution such as areas in the countryside.

Tips for seeing the Northern Lights in Scotland

Here are some tips from the Met Office for seeing the Northern Lights as they return:

  • 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)

What is the Met Office weather forecast for Scotland as the Northern Lights return tonight?

The general Met Office weather forecast for Thursday and Friday states that the two days when the Northern Lights will be most visible will have clear skies.

Thursday and Friday will have sunny conditions with a cool breeze expected to make exposed coastal areas chillier.

Inland areas in the west could be warmer as we move into spring.

There is no predicted rainfall, meaning stargazers should be protected from these conditions tonight and tomorrow.

The Northern Lights are expected to peak in Scotland on Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21.