Pictures of the strange hazy glow were taken by residents in Chichester and Bognor, with numerous comments on Facebook reporting similar sightings around the area.
A spokesperson for the South Downs Planetarium said that a large solar eruption two nights ago could have caused the aurora borealis or Northern Lights to be visible as far south as the coast, although the images are yet to be examined by an expert.
Matt Power from Bognor submitted a picture of the lights, which he said were ‘ebbing and changing’ in the sky as he drove back from Tangmere, with part of the light moving from blue to green.
He added that his Finnish girlfriend, who was with him at the time, said the phenomenon looked like the Northern Lights diffused in cloud.
He said: “I rushed home to get my proper camera but by the time I returned they had vanished.
“The lights were ebbing and changing, it was pretty cool.”
The Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles from the sun reacting with the Earth’s atmosphere.
A South Downs Planetarium spokesperson said: “We did have a large solar eruption, the Northern Lights would have been visible, not last night but the night before. It was cloudy down here though.”
An expert from the planetarium, who is currently investigating the Northern Lights in Norway, has been contacted for comment.
Do you have any theories? Comment below and see if other people agree.
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