A magnificent display of the Northern Lights appeared across the UK last night and tonight the North East could see them return again.

Although last night the weather conditions in the region meant it was too cloudy to see the aurora borealis illuminating display, the Met Office has said it is possible they will make an appearance again depending on the weather conditions.

The Met Office forecast said the spectacle “may be visible as far south as central England tonight where skies remain clear”.

How are the Northern Lights created?

Auroras occur when charged particles such as electrons and protons collide with gases in Earth's upper atmosphere.

Those collisions produce tiny flashes that fill the sky with colourful light.

As billions of flashes occur in sequence, the auroras appear to move.

What are the best conditions to see the Northern Lights?

According to the Met Office, the best conditions to view the lights are when the sky is dark and clear of any clouds.

Cloud cover ultimately blocks the view of the light. Ideally, the lights will be best viewed away from any light pollution, in remote areas, facing the northern horizon - north-facing coasts produce some of the best viewing locations.

The Met Office said on Twitter that if you manage to find a break in the clouds there is a 'fair chance' of seeing the aurora in the North East tonight.

Northumberland is one of the best places to stargaze in the North East, meaning the Northern Lights could be highly visible there too – specifically at the Northumberland Sky Park.

Met Office weather forecast for the North East tonight

The Met Office has said the weather conditions across the North East tonight are cloudy and it’s likely to persist overnight, with further showers spreading southwest from the North Sea.

The showers will be generally light but the odd heavier burst is possible across the Pennines, with a minimum temperature of two degrees.