Solar Storm Breaks Through Earth’s Magnetic Field! Rare pink auroras streak through the sky
A recent solar storm punched a hole in the magnetosphere, allowing dangerous solar particles to pass through.
The sun is in the middle of its 11-year solar cycle, which has led to an increase in solar activity and solar yield in recent months. As the sun continues to reach the peak of its solar cycle, more solar storms are expected to trigger geomagnetic storms on the planet. In recent days, strong coronal mass ejections (CMEs) have been observed from the sun. However, none have caused a physical effect as great as the solar storm that hit Earth on November 3.
According to Live Science, a solar storm hit Earth on Nov. 3 and broke through Earth’s magnetosphere, the magnetic field around the planet. Although the hole in Earth’s magnetic field was temporary, it took long enough for dangerous solar particles to pass through and penetrate the planet. This breach caused the formation of stunningly rare pink auroras that blanketed the sky.
This rare phenomenon was noticed by a Northern Lights guide named Markus Varik from the Greenlander tour company near Tromso in Norway. Speaking to Live Science, he said, “These were the strongest pink auroras I’ve seen in over a decade of leading tours. It was a humbling experience.”
The breakthrough came after a G-1 class solar storm that hit Soil on November 3 and lasted almost 6 hours. Spaceweather.com reported, “The storm lasted more than 6 hours as a rift opened in Earth’s magnetic field, allowing solar winds to penetrate.”
What are Auroras?
Auroras or Northern Lights are shifting curtains of light in green, blue and pink that illuminate the night sky in the northern and southern poles. They are called Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis at the North Pole and Southern Lights or Aurora Australis at the South Pole.
Auroras are found at the northern and southern poles, according to NASA. Occasionally, space weather interacting with Earth can cause auroras to extend even further from the poles. These mesmerizing lights are constantly changing in shape and intensity, from dim and diffused to bright enough that they can be seen for miles.
Formation of Auroras
According to NASAwhen a solar storm interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, it results in the formation of geomagnetic storms. The solar particles that are released interact with the various gases present in our atmosphere to form stunning auroras that are a sight to behold, especially from places like Reykjavik in Iceland and Svalbard in Norway.
Scientists study aurora from different points of view: below, above and within. Telescopes and radar on the ground look up from below to follow what’s happening in the sky. From above, NASA missions like THEMIS are investigating causing auroras to shift dramatically from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly shifting streaks of color, the space agency said.
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