Residents have been left amazed after an astronomer snapped an incredible picture of the Northern Lights dancing over a local beauty spot last night.

Mark Hill headed away from the street lights and captured this image streaked with glowing green light, while standing next to Neilston Pad at around 10pm.

He was one of many Aurora Borealis watchers up and down the country who were rewarded with a spectacular display in dark spots due to a particularly strong solar flare.

The natural phenomenon was visible to the naked eye as far south as Devon after a coronal mass ejection from the sun occurred yesterday (November 3), providing the opportunity for sightings.

The Neilston man told the Barrhead News: “I've been an astronomer since I was a youngster and I've seen the lights on many occasions.

“I think people would be surprised how often they are visible from these latitudes.”

According to Mark the display had died down by 11pm.

He shared the photograph on social media, winning hundreds of likes from impressed residents living nearby.

VisitScotland explains that the spectacle is named after Aurora (the Roman goddess of dawn) and Boreas (the Greek name for north wind), and is caused by charged particles accelerated into the Earth's upper atmosphere along magnetic field lines.

The energy to drive the display is provided by the sun, in the form of a 'solar wind'.

The sun may be millions and millions of miles away, but it is the reason we see the extraordinary sight.

Aurorae come in all colours, shapes and patterns, setting the night sky alive with rainbows of light.

The variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding, from yellowish-greens, blues and purples, to fiery reds and oranges.

Did you witness the phenomenon? Send your pictures to