A GEOMAGNETIC storm hitting the Earth tonight could cause the northern lights to reach as far south as the Borders.

Seeing the aurora borealis, which is visible as dancing ribbons of green light pulsing in intensity across the night sky, is on many people's bucket lists.

The Met Office has said in a statement that recent geomagnetic activity could lead to the phenomenon being visible across the north of the UK.

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It read in part: "A combination of fast solar winds and the recent arrival of a Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun could lead to the aurora being seen tonight, especially across the north of the UK."

Dark places, away from natural light, are usually the best spots for viewing auroras and other astronomical phenomena.

The US's space weather department said on Sunday night that a "severe geomagnetic storm" was impacting the Earth.

Auroras are rarely visible outside of the northernmost reaches of Scotland, with the event usually confined to communities near the Arctic Circle. 

A lunar eclipse will also happen tomorrow morning, with the best viewing time in Scotland estimated to be 6:03am.

The storms that create them are caused by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), violent eruptions of magnetic field and plasma from the sun.

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This year is expected to see more auroras than normal due to the sun reaching the peak of its 11-year cycle, causing an increase in CMEs.

There is no guarantee that the aurora will be visible tonight, and cloudy weather and artificial light can make the phenomenon hard to see.

Elsewhere in the world, tonight's auroras could be visible as far south as the midwestern United States, an exceedingly rare occurrence.

The aurora australis, occurring near the south pole, is also expected to be visible in southern Australia tonight.