Northern Lights may be visible again in France in next few days

Repeat of mid-May’s amazing views are possible if conditions are right

The lights were on full display earlier this month across France

A period of intense solar activity means the iconic Northern Lights may soon be visible again throughout night skies across France. 

The solar flare – which caused the lights to be viewed as far south as the Mediterranean coastline earlier this month – is still active on the sun, releasing new bursts of energy. 

One of these is likely to coincide with a plasma ejection and is expected to cause the light patterns to appear again in the coming days. 

Read more: PHOTOS: Northern Lights stun in skies across southern France

If conditions are met, the lights will be visible on the evenings of June 3 or 4 (Monday and Tuesday next week).

Solar flares can be active for weeks at a time, although it is not always the case that the emissions from the sun are as strong as they currently are.

Why might lights not be visible? 

Although the Northern Lights can be seen in other parts of the world fairly often, it is rare for the patterns to appear so far south. For this, conditions must be nearly perfect.

The solar flares generally last for one rotation of the sun (between 24 and 38 days), meaning earth will again be in the correct position to view the energy offshoots in as many locations as possible.

The sun and earth will align in this way on June 3 and 4, meaning on these evenings and flares will make the Northern Lights appear at their brightest. 

However, scientists have been quick to warn there is no guarantee the lights will be on display on these dates as it is dependent on a number of other factors, such as the strength of any flares – if any – and various weather conditions.

“We will only know an hour or so beforehand,” said Fabrice Mottez of the CNRS, France’s national research institution. 

Early indications that the lights are set to appear may be available on the European Space Agency’s website, which tracks the Earth’s ‘Magnetosphere and Radiation Belt’