Northern Lights make spectacular rare appearance in UK & Ireland (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The Northern Lights illuminated skies above the UK and Ireland last night, giving local photographers a rare opportunity to capture the spectacular sight of the aurora borealis.

The dazzling phenomenon was visible as far south as Oxfordshire as well as South Wales, Scotland and in parts of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Aurora borealis occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun enter earth's atmosphere. The phenomenon is normally best observed in regions close to the North Pole.

However, cosmic conditions and clear skies combined last night to give night sky watchers in the UK and Ireland an unforgettable light show.

Northern lights over the City of Discovery last night #Dundee #northernlights #Scotland #auroraborealis

A photo posted by Josh McCluskey (@j_mccluskey) on

Amazing picture of the #northernlights over Merseyside last night taken by @gavtraf

A photo posted by The Liverpool Echo (@liverpoolecho) on

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