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Spectacular red auroras light up the night sky in a rare celestial phenomenon

Added Mon, 02/10/2023
Дата публикации
Mon, 02/10/2023

This week, observers around the world witnessed the spectacular spectacle of red aurors that arose as a result of the collision of a powerful solar storm with the Earth's magnetic field. This rare phenomenon painted the night sky in bright shades of red, mesmerizing observers from Europe to North America.

Solar storms caused by the ejection of charged particles from the Sun, called solar winds, interact with the Earth's magnetosphere. As a result of the interaction, charged particles are directed to high-latitude regions near the magnetic poles, which leads to the appearance of fascinating light shows called aurors.

Different gases and heights in the Earth's atmosphere create different colors of aurors. Oxygen emits red light at high altitudes, and green light at lower altitudes. Nitrogen can emit purple, blue and pink colors.

Most often, during auroral manifestations, a green color is observed, since the conditions and altitude above sea level are optimal for the emission of a green wave. However, during strong manifestations, red, purple and blue colors may also appear, which gives the spectacle additional beauty.

Especially fascinating are the red auroras that occur when high-energy electrons collide with oxygen atoms at altitudes of more than 200 miles. The large wavelength of red light allows it to spread over long distances and often appear on the lower edges of the aurora.

The recent solar storm exceeded all expectations, lighting up the skies of Scotland, Iceland and the Netherlands with bright green and red aurors. Later, it passed through the Atlantic Ocean to North America and reached the southern states of Kansas and Nebraska.

This year has been exceptional for those who like to observe auroras: several amazing phenomena have reached unusually southern areas. The frequency of these phenomena is explained by the surprisingly active solar cycle, approaching the peak of the approximately 11-year cycle of solar activity.

I quote scientist Dr. John Smith from the National Space Institute: "The recent manifestation of the red aurora is a rare and exciting event. It testifies to the strength and beauty of natural forces colliding in our atmosphere. Observing such phenomena reminds us of the wonders of our universe."

According to historical data, red aurors have been observed throughout the history of mankind and have often been associated with significant events. So, in 1719, a red aurora was observed in New England shortly before a devastating earthquake. In 1883, a red aurora was observed in Europe a few weeks before the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano.

As technology develops, scientists are able to study and predict solar storms more accurately. This makes it possible to better understand the impact of storms on the Earth's magnetic field and the auroras that arise.

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