Breathtaking auroras were seen over Canada and UK after a solar storm struck the Earth’s atmosphere and sparked a geomagnetic storm.
We all are aware that the sun is at the peak of solar activity and has been generating solar storms that are hitting earth with increasing frequency. These solar storms are dangerous as they have the potential to harm satellites and GPS systems. While this sounds very scary, these solar storms, when they collide with the magnetic field above Earth spark geomagnetic storms and also produce breathtaking auroras. The same happened on late Sunday (Aug. 7) and early Monday (August 8) after solar particles entered earth’s atmosphere. It created stunning green and purple auroras across northern high latitudes of our planet. Space lovers in Canada and the United Kingdom got to enjoy these stunning auroras. An aurora is a natural colourful light that can be seen mostly in high-latitude areas after solar particles interact with earth’s magnetic field. Gary Pearson, a photographer near the northeastern coast of Britain has shared the pictures of the breathtaking auroras on Twitter. He tweeted, “Great to have another visit from the northern lights, a.k.a. Aurora Borealis here at Brancaster Staithe in North Norfolk early this morning.”
As reported by Spaceweather.com, a solar wind stream hit Earth’s magnetic field on August 7th. The solar wind even triggered a G2-class (moderately strong) geomagnetic storm. The portal said, “This event was not in the forecast, so the resulting auroras came as a surprise.” For the unversed, geomagnetic storms are measured on “G scale” from 1 to 5 with G1 being minor and G5 being extreme.
A few days back, Dr. Tamitha Skov, a space weather specialist, had predicted that a massive solar storm could hit the Earth, resulting in dramatic aurora displays.
She posted a warning on Twitter about the possible solar flare that was headed toward Earth. However, the solar storm broke out after a few days.