Geomagnetic storm sparks Aurora in Alaska, video goes viral; Watch here

A geomagnetic storm hits the Earth's atmosphere and sparked a rare aurora explosion that has left the internet stunned. Watch the viral video here.

| Updated on: Sep 02 2022, 18:33 IST
Solar flare risk rises! Earth may get blackouts, GPS problems and Auroras
1/6 According to Dr. Tamitha Skov, a Space Weather physicist and popularly known as 'Space weather woman', the presence of sunspots increases the possibility of solar falers as it increases solar activity. (NASA)
2/6 She stated in a post that, “Our Sun continues to impress with no less than eight active regions in Earth-view. Several of these are M-flare players and NOAA/SWPC is even giving us a small chance for X-class flares.” (SDO/NASA)
3/6 Solar Flares are ranked by alphabets depending on their intensity with ‘A’ being the smallest in intensity and ‘X’ being the most dangerous flare.  (Pixabay)
4/6 Solar Flares can cause power blackouts, GPS crashes, radio blackouts and more. When a solar flare hits the Earth, the radio communications and the power grid is affected when it hits the Earth’s magnetic field. It can cause power and radio blackouts for several hours or even days. However, electricity grid problems occur only if the solar flare is extremely large. (NASA/SDO)
5/6 The eight sunspots that have come into the Earth’s view have been named as solar region 3030, 3031, 3032, 3033, 3034, 3035, 3037 and 3038, with region 3030 and 3032 witnessing major solar activity last week. As a result, many M-rated solar flares have been predicted to occur this week, with even a small chance of an X-rated solar flare to erupt. (Pixabay)
6/6 X-rated solar flares are almost 10 times more dangerous than M-rated solar flares. On the bright side, the solar flares always bring a beautiful night-sky phenomenon known as Auroras or Northern Lights, which are stunning to witness. They light up the sky with colourful displays and are easily visible through the naked eye. (REUTERS)
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A video is going viral on the internet that shows an aurora explosion in Alaska courtesy a geomagnetic storm. (Vincent Ledvina / Instagram )

We have seen several glimpses of auroras in the last couple of weeks after some massive explosions on the Sun sent a solar storm hurtling towards the Earth. When the solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere, it sparked a geomagnetic storm that in turn created this awesome and rare aurora. It was of such brilliant hues that it left the internet stunned. The 'aurora explosion' video has now gone viral. A user named Vincent Ledvina shared a video on Instagram a couple of days ago which shows a glorious view of an aurora explosion in Alaska, the United States. "Aurora explosion in Alaska! Can't wait to go back," he said in the aurora video. Ledvina is known for sharing space weather and green skies videos on a regular basis.

He exclaimed, "This is what I mean when I say the aurora can "explode". After a countdown starting from three, the video shows an explosion of the aurora filling the sky full of green hues. The reflection of the green light everywhere can be seen making the view even more magnificent.

Ledvina further shared the experience via video captions which explained that the intensity of the aurora was so strong that it overexposed his camera. “It was so green to the naked eye, too. The explosion is actually called a substorm, which is where the aurora brightens for a brief period of time and extends equatorward,” he mentioned. The text further mentioned that Substorms go through three phases: expansion, breakup and recovery.

But let's come to the basics! How do these mesmerizing auroras form? And how does it exhibit different colours? Know everything here.

How do auroras form?

Auroras are basically the fascinating lights in the sky, which is the aftermath of Geomagnetic storms. NASA explains that Auroras are created when charged particles from the Sun are trapped in Earth's magnetic environment.

The collision of charged particles can hit oxygen molecules which exhibit the Green and red hues, just like in the case of the latest aurora in Alaska. While the other Blue and Purple colours are caused by nitrogen molecules colliding with charged particles.

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First Published Date: 02 Sep, 18:31 IST
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