Man films awesome aurora on a plane! Video is viral; know how a solar storm sparks this light show

A video of mesmerizing auroras captured on a flight to Europe has gone viral on social media. Know what are auroras and the cause behind this breathtaking phenomenon.

| Updated on: Sep 01 2023, 15:52 IST
The most intense solar flare captured by NASA SDO
1/5 According to, on August 5th, sunspot AR3386's eruption was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). (Pixabay)
2/5 The solar flare has been classified as X1.6-class which can be extremely dangerous to the space environment as well as the earth. Along with the solar flare, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory also discover a bright CME escaping from the blast side. (NASA)
3/5 The intensity scale for solar flares is separated into A, B, C, M, and X classes, with values ranging from 1 to 9. An X-class flare denotes the maximum level of solar eruption intensity. (Unsplash)
4/5 According to NASA, the solar flare can hit Earth today, August 8,  and could result in a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm. If two CMEs are hurled towards Earth, then it can generate a G2 or strong G3-class geomagnetic storm. (SDO/NASA)
5/5 It is also possible for the radiation from the flare to affect people in aeroplanes and disrupt Earth's satellites.  (NASA)
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An aurora was recently snapped on a flight as it crossed Canada on its way to Europe. (Vincent Ledvina (Instagram))

Auroras, commonly known as Northern Lights, are a rare sky phenomenon that result in stunning streaks of colourful light in the sky near the polar regions. However, there are instances where these flashing lights have also appeared across the world, especially if the solar storm that causes them is of strong intensity. Recently, people on a flight to Europe bore witness to a mesmerizing aurora that was snapped by a user, and the social media post has gone viral since then.

Auroras captured on a flight

Instagram user Vincent Ledvina, who calls himself ‘The Aurora Guy', shared a breathtaking video of auroras that were seen during a flight. In an Instagram post, Ledvina wrote, “Have you ever seen the northern lights from a plane!?”

The mesmerizing auroras were snapped as the plane crossed over Canada en route to Europe. Ledvina mentioned in the video, “I stayed up all night to capture a glimpse of the northern lights on my flight to Europe…”

The Instagram post has since gone viral with over 50000 likes. People were awestruck by this phenomenon. One user commented, “This how heaven must look like”, while another wrote, “Omg you're so lucky!! I never even thought about the possibility!”

What are auroras?

Auroras, also known as Northern lights or Aurora Borealis at the North Pole and Southern lights or Aurora Australis at the South Pole, are shifting curtains of light in greens, blues and pinks in the night sky. These mesmerizing lights are constantly changing shape and intensity, from dim and scattered, to bright enough that they are visible for miles.

They are typically seen in the northern polar regions, including in places like Canada, Alaska, and Norway. The Southern Lights, or aurora australis, are seen in the southern polar regions, such as Antarctica and southern parts of South America, Africa, and Australia.

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.

Scientists study auroras 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: 01 Sep, 15:51 IST