After a geomagnetic storm above Earth, a rare double aurora was spotted and clicked by an amateur astronomer. The new rare double aurora may help to solve the mystery behind the different hues of these fascinating dancing lights.
Auroras are the fascinating, even enchanting, outcome of geomagnetic storms on Earth! These stunning captivating displays of light in the night sky occur at the northern and southern poles with spectacular views of the dancing lights. These auroras are mainly caused by the solar winds in space, basically charged particles from the Sun, which accelerate through the field lines of the Earth’s magnetic field. NASA says, ” Auroras are created when fast-moving, magnetic solar material strikes Earth’s magnetic bubble, the magnetosphere. This collision rattles the magnetosphere in an event called a geomagnetic storm, sending trapped charged particles zooming down magnetic field lines towards the atmosphere, where they collide brilliantly with molecules in the air, creating auroras. Though many geomagnetic storms are associated with clouds of solar material that explode from the sun in an event called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, this storm was caused by an especially fast stream of solar wind.”
But what happens when two different kinds of auroras merge together? This rare phenomenon captured by an amateur astronomer is something unusual in the world of auroras!
Photographer Alan Dyer from Canada started filming this unusual double aurora as soon as he spotted the dancing lights overhead. The strangest combination of red and green auroras visuals is something that he had never seen before. However, at a glance of this rare double aurora, it looks like a celestial watermelon! “A nice widely-seen Kp5 #Aurora last night, July 22-23, obscured by clouds. But I was lucky to see anything at all as the prospects for any clearing looked poor. Some nice red and magenta pillars in this display. From home in the south,” Alan said along with the rare images of double aurora.
NASA says Green and red hues in the aurora appear when charged particles hit oxygen molecules, while the other Blue and Purple colours are caused by nitrogen molecules colliding with charged particles. However, these facts were known before by scientists about how these red or green hues appear in auroras, but researchers had never seen such an unusual arrangement of red and green auroras side by side, Sciencenews.org quoted Toshi Nishimura, a space physicist at Boston University. This strange combination was something beyond our expectations,” he added.
The report mentions that the colour is more reddish because electrons have less energy than protons. However, Brian Harding, a space physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that electron rain may not be the only responsible factor for these red glows, sciencenews.org report mentioned. He further says that until scientists better understand the reason behind the red glows in the auroras, it will be difficult to forecast space weather as the normal weather.