A woman has taken a stunning picture of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, in Rivington.

Sarah Johnson, from Little Hulton, took the picture on Thursday night (March 23).

The 41-year-old said: “It was the first time I had ever seen them.

“I spotted online that the aurora was out in force and I also got an amber alert on about it on my phone.

“We decided to head out to Rivington at 10.30pm and see what we could see.

“At first the compass wasn’t working so we were looking the wrong way but eventually we spotted a faint flash of pink and green.

“You could really see the colours through my phone’s camera lens.

“It was amazing and so spectacular to see in person.”

Sarah said she went to Lapland a few years ago and hoped to the aurora during the trip.

Unfortunately, the family were unlucky and didn’t get to see it.

She said: “I went to Lapland a few years ago with my children and couldn’t see anything at all.

“Yet here there was last night, 20 minutes from home and I can see the northern lights.

“I could have saved myself £6,000.”

The Met Office say the northern lights could still be visible tonight (March 24) and Sarah will be heading out in the hope of spotting them again.

She said: “I want to go out again later on to see if I can spot them anywhere else but it will depend on cloud cover.

“I think I will be trekking along the coast of the north west over the next few weeks trying to spot them again.”

A Met Office spokesperson said the Northern Lights were seen across much of the UK last night and were caused by a geomagnetic storm in the atmosphere.

They said: “The cause of this storm is the arrival of two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that left the sun several days ago.

“These powerful blasts of plasma arrived at Earth late yesterday, causing geomagnetic storms and allowed the northern lights to visible across large parts of the country overnight.”

While the CMEs aren’t expected to be as powerful today, the Met Office say the aurora could be visible tonight, especially in the north.

They said: “Whilst the effects of these CMEs are likely to wane today, there is also the potential for the arrival of a fast solar wind from another feature on the sun known as a coronal hole later today.

“Whilst the geomagnetic storming from this is likely to be more modest, it may allow the aurora to be visible once again, predominantly across northern parts of the UK.

“The increase in solar activity is expected as we move towards the maximum of the solar cycle, and is not unusual.”