Skywatchers were treated to a spectacular display this past weekend over Dartmoor, as astonishing levels of solar wind reached Earth.

Clear skies on Friday night gave the best possible chance to see the stunning aurora borealis.

John Ellis posted this stunning image of the pink and green skies above The Pimple in Tavistock.

However, the pursuit of the lights led to frustration in the Princetown and Yelverton areas - and around Meavy and Sheepstor - as people rushed out in their cars to get a good view.

The best place to see them was where the sky was darkest, but there were traffic gridlocks from Yelverton to Princetown, with the sheer number of headlights blocking out any real view. Residents said the disruption was as bad as when ‘’snow tourists” headed out from Plymouth, with traffic nose to tail.

One resident said: “I have never seen it so busy, not even in the height of summer.”

And the traffic congestion persisted into the early hours, with another commenting: “It was still nose to tail along the A386 between Yelverton and Roborough at 1:20am as I was heading up from Plymouth”.

The Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis, are often seen in northern latitudes known as the “auroral” zone; however, on rare occasions they can be spotted further south.

They are natural light displays that predominantly occur when charged particles from the sun collide with Earth's atmosphere, causing vibrant colours like green, pink and violet. These particles excite atmospheric gases, creating the beautiful, shimmering effect.

Northern lights over the moors
Northern lights over the moors (Brian Johnston)

This was one such occasion, where, due to a solar storm, the lights danced above the Devon skies, and the skies were clear.

More auroras over the moors
More aurora over the moors (Brian Johnston)

However, you needed a really dark spot to get a good view, something cancelled out by the headlights of the thousands of people hoping to catch a glimpse of the lights.

Another Facebook user pointed this out: “You will not see them with so much light pollution from the millions of car lights all on Dartmoor, at least turn your lights off”.