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Solar storm 2024: Volatile Sun sparks Geomagnetic storm, generates stunning auroras

Solar storm 2024: The volatile Sun, heading toward the solar maximum, has sparked a geomagnetic storm on Earth and triggered amazing auroras around the Arctic Circle on March 3.

By: HT TECH
Updated on: Mar 11 2024, 11:28 IST
Auroras were captured around the Arctic Circle as a result of a solar storm. Check details. (Representative Image) (Pexels)

Solar storm 2024: As the Sun approaches the solar maximum, its activity is expected to increase further and that means more reasons to worry for space weather trackers here on Earth. The Sun has been showing its might in the last few weeks, with dangerous X-class solar flares spewing out on multiple occasions. All these solar phenomena hold the potential to cause damage on Earth to the electrical infrastructure. Technological instruments are especially at risk during these events, resulting in power blackouts and even disruption of radio communication. Just days after a G1-class geomagnetic storm hit Earth, another triggered auroras on March 3.

Solar storm

According to a report by spaceweather.com, a CME was hurled into space on February 28 by the Sun when a magnetic filament erupted that was connected to sunspot AR3592. Although it was initially not expected to hit Earth, its impact was bigger than expected. This CME impact resulted in a G2-class geomagnetic storm which triggered auroras over the Arctic Circle.

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The stunning auroras were captured by Jan Eklind during a flight. Eklind told Space Weather, “I was flying from Oslo to Kirkenes on Scandinavian Airlines when the CME struck. Auroras spread across the sky with twilight in the distance and city lights below.”

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Also read: NOAA says solar wind could trigger solar storm

How do auroras form?

According to NASA, when a solar storm interacts with Earth’s magnetic field, it results in the formation of geomagnetic storms. The solar particles released during this interact with the various gases present in our atmosphere and form stunning Auroras which are a sight to behold, especially from places like Reykjavik in Iceland and Svalbard in Norway.

Also Read: Know all about the total solar eclipse 2024

Scientists study aurora from a variety of vantage points: below, above, and within. From below, ground-based telescopes and radar look upward to track what’s happening in the sky. From above, NASA missions such as THEMIS investigate what causes auroras to dramatically shift from slowly shimmering waves of light to wildly shifting streaks of colour, according to the space agency.

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First Published Date: 04 Mar, 11:13 IST
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