STARGAZERS across Lancashire who stayed up to see the northern lights on Thursday were left disappointed, as cloudy skies prevented the natural light show from being seen.

Experts said the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, which can usually be seen in the arctic, would be visible much further south if weather conditions allowed.

Stargazers as far south as the M4 corridor in South Wales and southern England reported seeing the phenomenon, but astronomers in Lancashire were disappointed.

Burnley astronomer Adam Whittaker, who has seen the lights in the Arctic Circle, was out on Thursday with his telescope, but failed to see the lights.

He said: “It was a bit of a washout after all that, we were clouded out.

“I would be very surprised if anyone saw them, perhaps in Scotland, but I think it was a bit overhyped to be honest.”

The aurora appear as shimmering waves of coloured light, and while they were not as strong as expected on Thursday, experts said they were due to appear more clearly last night.

The lights have been visible recently because a mass injection of particles from the sun earlier in the week meant that it was possible to see them from the UK.

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