Social networks are filling these days with incredible images of green lights at night. Or, more technically speaking, northern and southern lights. But why are these lights in the sky occurring right now?
Auroras, both northern and southern, are a great gift that appears with geomagnetic storms. In fact, we are in the middle of a solar storm. And whatever fiction says, we have not run out of telecommunications, nor does it look like it is going to happen anytime soon.
In geomagnetic storms, sunspots erupt and spew coronal mass into space. If by chance these particles from the Sun meet the Earth, our magnetic field directs them towards the poles. There, they collide with oxygen and nitrogen and turn into beautiful play of light, which can range from green and yellow to red and purple. The color depends on the intensity and wavelength. And this is how the northern and southern lights are produced.
Got to see the Aurora Borealis
aka Northern Lights tonight over
(Loch Leven) Perth and Kinross! Scotland
I love the night sky it’s so fascinating to watch!
I thought I would share this with everyone! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sJ1zMk1hMG
— Ben Canham (@wweisawesome123) November 3, 2021
Just a month ago there was another geomagnetic storm that was not serious; but it also gave us beautiful images of the sky. And it is possible that in the coming years the northern and southern auroras will be much more common as the Sun has entered a cycle of high activity. We should not worry because, in the short term, telecommunications outages are not expected to occur due to this issue. But we are likely to see many more lights in the sky, especially near the Earth’s poles.
In addition to Scotland, southern auroras were also seen on Wednesday night in Tasmania and off the coast of Victoria, as explained by the Australian Meteorological Agency.
AURORA ALERT ✨ The Bureau's Space Weather Services team has issued an Aurora Alert — an Aurora may be visible from Tasmania and the coastline of Victoria tonight (4 Nov).
You can sign up for our aurora alerts by going to https://t.co/od1TI9Hgtn
📷 Ryan Shanz – Tasmania pic.twitter.com/fCELhUgINH
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) November 4, 2021
In short, there is no need to worry about the possibility of a telecommunications failure. Fortunately, the biggest consequence of this solar storm are some beautiful northern and southern auroras. And beauty lights up the sky; but also the social networks. So, if you are finding images of this phenomenon on the internet: enjoy it.