THE northern lights were spotted in Cradley Heath in a surprising display.

A solar storm meant the aurora was visible across the UK last night (Sunday March 3).

News Group Camera Club member Gemma Cross captured the display from Haden Hill.

Activity on the Sun has been increasing over the last few years and is expected to peak this year, which means the aurora becomes more frequent.

At around 5pm last night a "red alert" was issued by AuroraWatch UK - an organisation from the University of Lancaster that monitors solar activity.

The spike in solar activity lasted until 9pm.

There is a greater chance of seeing the aurora over the next few years because the Sun is reaching the peak of its 11-year cycle, due to be at the end of 2024 or early 2025.

Northern lights spotters head to high points, hills, and dark places away from light pollution to give themselves the best chance of spotting the amazing lights.