If anybody braved the cold weather on Wednesday night and looked to the northern sky they would have been treated to a display of the northern lights.

These are caused by highly charged particles from the Sun being swept up by the Earth’s magnetic field where the Earth’s magnetic polar cap attracts these high-speed particles to collide with normal air particles that then light up the northern night sky.

The colours were pale green and rose pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound and fiery crimson like the fires of Hell.

No wonder early man was so concerned about them.

The Greeks held that they were Aurora who was the sister of Helios and Seline, the sun and moon respectively, and that she raced across the sky in her multi-coloured chariot to alert her siblings to the dawning of a new day.

That’s a much better story than our dull tale about charged particles.