As solar storms spark geomagnetic storms, dazzling Auroras shine on Russia’s Murmansk

    Russia’s Murmansk witnessed some dazzling aurora views on October 21. Here’s how it formed.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Oct 23 2022, 00:18 IST
    Sickening! From light to darkness, DEATH of a star is the birth of a Black Hole!
    black hole
    1/5 What is a Black Hole? According to NASA, a black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. A black hole’s “surface,” called its event horizon, defines the boundary where the velocity needed to escape exceeds the speed of light, which is the speed limit of the cosmos. Matter and radiation fall in, but they can’t get out. (NASA)
    Black hole
    2/5 Classes of black holes: Two main classes of black holes have been extensively observed. Stellar-mass black holes with three to dozens of times the Sun’s mass are spread throughout our Milky Way galaxy, while supermassive monsters weighing 100,000 to billions of solar masses are found in the centers of most big galaxies, ours included. (AP)
    Black hole
    3/5 How are black holes birthed? A stellar-mass black hole formation happens when a star with more than 20 solar masses exhausts the nuclear fuel in its core and collapses under its own weight. The collapse triggers a supernova explosion that blows off the star’s outer layers. But if the crushed core contains more than about three times the Sun’s mass, no known force can stop its collapse and the birth of of a black hole. The origin of supermassive black holes is poorly understood, but we know they exist from the very earliest days of a galaxy’s lifetime. Once born, black holes can grow by accreting matter that falls into them, including gas stripped from neighboring stars and even other black holes. (NASA)
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    4/5 First image of black hole: In 2019, astronomers using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — an international collaboration that networked eight ground-based radio telescopes into a single Earth-size dish — captured an image of a black hole for the first time. It appears as a dark circle silhouetted by an orbiting disk of hot, glowing matter. The supermassive black hole is located at the heart of a galaxy called M87, located about 55 million light-years away, and weighs more than 6 billion solar masses. Its event horizon extends so far it could encompass much of our solar system out to well beyond the planets. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)
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    5/5 Studying black holes: Astronomers have been studying black holes through the various forms of light they emit for decades. Although light can’t escape a black hole’s event horizon, the enormous tidal forces in its vicinity cause nearby matter to heat up to millions of degrees and emit radio waves and X-rays. Some of the material orbiting even closer to the event horizon may be hurled out, forming jets of particles moving near the speed of light that emit radio, X-rays and gamma rays. Jets from supermassive black holes can extend hundreds of thousands of light-years into space. NASA’s Hubble, Chandra, Swift, NuSTAR, and NICER space telescopes, as well as other missions, continue to take the measure of black holes and their environments. (NASA)
    Auroras
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    How do mesmerizing auroras form on Earth? Know here. (AP)

    The extreme volatility on the Sun is having an impact on Earth too. The reason is that the Sun has frequently been generating solar storms and when these high energy particles smash into Earth's atmosphere, there are many things that happen at the same time. Among them are the fascinating Auroras. In the latest development, the solar wind has opened a crack in Earth's magnetosphere on October 22, which has set the stage for geomagnetic storms and the Auroras, SpaceWeather reported.

    Auroras, or Northern Lights, have been seen in Russia's Murmansk region and these have created some spectacular views.

    What causes an aurora

    The auroras are formed by streams of electrified particles trapped in the Earth's magnetic fields which are emitted by the Sun. NASA explains that when a solar storm comes in the direction of the Earth, some of the energy and small particles travel down the magnetic field lines at the north and south poles into Earth's atmosphere. Resultantly, when charged particles from the sun collide with the planet's magnetic field, geomagnetic storms occur.

    These particles converge above the poles by the Earth's magnetic field lines, which is why we observe auroras in these areas. Auroras appearing at the northern pole of the Earth are commonly known as Northern lights or aurora borealis, similarly, the auroras on the south pole are called southern lights, or Aurora Australis.

    Do you know?

    You will be surprised to know that Auroras are not something that happen only on Earth! If a planet has an atmosphere and magnetic field, they probably have auroras. NASA has earlier shared some amazing images of auroras on Jupiter and Saturn.

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    First Published Date: 23 Oct, 00:17 IST
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