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The sun has punched a hole in the Earth's magnetic field, causing rare red auroras

Added Thu, 28/09/2023
Дата публикации
Thu, 28/09/2023

As a result of extremely powerful disturbances of the Earth's magnetic field in Europe and North America, stunning red auroras have appeared, mesmerizing with their power. If the northern lights are usually characterized by green shades, then the recent crimson glow has brought scientists and sky observers into awe.

The spectacular phenomenon was caused by a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) - the ejection of plasma from the Sun. On September 24, this KVM collided with the Earth's magnetic field, causing a G2 class geomagnetic storm. Highly charged particles that broke through a gap in the magnetic field interacted with gas atoms in the atmosphere, creating an impressive light show known as aurora borealis.

Experts assure that these disturbances do not cause concern. Charged solar particles periodically penetrate the magnetosphere, but these disturbances are usually short-lived and do not pose a threat to humans. However, a distinctive feature of the latest geomagnetic storm is the ability of solar particles to collide with oxygen atoms at high altitudes.

Usually solar winds react with oxygen atoms at altitudes from 100 to 300 km, as a result of which aurora acquires a dominant green color. However, in this case, the charged particles reached a height of 300-400 km, where oxygen is less concentrated and more energy is required to excite it. As a result, there was a bright flash of red light, creating rare ruby auroras.

The fragility of these red aurors is explained by the fact that undisturbed oxygen atoms are needed to emit red photons. In addition, the human eye is less sensitive to red light compared to green, which further aggravates the rarity of seeing red aurors. However, an unusual phenomenon that occurred this week allowed the naked eye to observe red lights up to the south of France.

According to scientists, as the activity of the Sun increases in the direction of the solar maximum in July 2025, and possibly even earlier, such fascinating celestial spectacles will become more and more. Due to the potential increase in solar activity, the world can expect new breathtaking displays of natural brilliance.

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