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Dazzling aurora borealis seen over northern sky! Thanks to solar storm

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 19-08-2022 Himani Jha

The Sun is in its solar maxima, and has been erupting frequently and throwing solar storms towards us. Last week, an unexpected solar storm sparked stunning auroras across Canada and the UK and yesterday a geomagnetic storm created a colorful aurora borealis also known as northern lights in parts of the US. The solar storms, when colliding with the magnetic field of Earth, produce breathtaking auroras and the same happened on late Thursday i.e, August 18 after solar particles hurled into earth's atmosphere. It created stunning northern lights. The space lovers in Canada and Alaska got to enjoy the stunning auroras and capture the same. Aurora is a natural light that can be seen mostly in high-latitude areas after solar particles interact with earth's magnetic field.

What is aurora borealis?

Aurora borealis only appears closer to the North Pole, in Alaska and Canada, but the solar storm has pushed them further south on Thursday and Friday. It could be seen in Pennsylvania, Iowa and Oregon.

As per the reports, the Northern Lights are usually clearest under dark skies from August until mid-April. The next aurora will take place on 23 September.

A few days back, NOAA's latest forecast model predicted that two CMEs erupted on the solar surface could hit the Earth together on Thursday, August 18. As reported, a Coronal Mass Ejection erupted on August 14 as well as on August 15. ?This could be a Cannibal CME event where the second CME might overtake and gobble up the first, creating a mish-mash of the two,? says the report. Cannibal CMEs have tangled magnetic fields and compressed plasmas that could trigger strong geomagnetic storms. The spaceweather.com had reported that Cannibal CME was traveling faster than 600 kmps (1.3 million mph) and could create minor (G1) to moderate (G2) geomagnetic storms here on earth.

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