Northern Lights seen from Urris, Clonmany, Inishowen, Co DonegalAdam Porter

A respected Irish astronomer is claiming that the pictures shown around the world of the famous Northern Lights above Ireland are in fact only depicting light pollution.

David Gradwell, based in Birr, Co Offaly, said that there was scientific proof that the pictures are not showing the Aurora Borealis and that photographers have mistakenly captured light pollution from the neighboring towns.

“They’re not Northern Lights, that’s light pollution from a nearby town or sports field illuminating the underside of the clouds. From my solar observatory near Birr I measure the Earth’s magnetic field and there was minimal impact from the coronal mass ejection impact over low altitudes . . . I do hope that photographers will not be disappointed,” he said, according to the Irish Times.