Solar storm strike against Earth sparks brilliant auroras! WATCH this awesome video

On February 27, one of the strongest solar storms in a long time struck the Earth producing mesmerizing auroras even in areas which rarely get to see it. Check out this awesome video and see the spectacle for yourself.

| Updated on: Mar 02 2023, 13:11 IST
NASA: From Solar Winds, Solar Flares to CME, check how solar phenomena impact Earth
1/5 The harrowing thing is that it will not just be China that would be affected by such a devastating solar storm. (NASA)
2/5 Solar Flares: Solar flares are photon flares emitted from the Sun which travel from the flare site. They are rated on the basis of their intensity with the highest being an X-rated solar flare. It can cause power and radio blackouts and are responsible for the stunning phenomenon known to us as the Northern Lights or Auroras. (NASA/SDO)
3/5 Coronal Mass Ejections (CME): CMEs are massive plasma clouds carrying photons that are ejected from the Sun. CME occurs during the solar cycle and is at peak in the middle of the cycle. (NASA)
4/5 Solar Winds: Solar winds are high speed winds coming from holes in the Sun called Coronal holes. These holes can form anywhere on the surface of the Sun. If these solar winds prevail near the solar equator, they can cause impact on Earth, according to NASA. (Pixabay)
5/5 Solar Energetic Particles: Solar energetic particles are emitted from the Sun during Coronal Mass Ejections. These are charged particles; hence they follow the magnetic field lines between the Sun and the Earth and if they pass the magnetic fields near Earth, they have an impact. (NASA)
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Watch how the February 27 solar storm sparkled the night sky with a stunning aurora show. (Representative Photo) (AFP)

The solar storm that struck the Earth on February 27 was remarkable for multiple reasons. The G3-class solar storm was one of the most intense solar onslaughts we have witnessed in a long time. Its impact was so huge that SpaceX had to delay its Falcon 9 rocket launch by almost 5 hours. Even oil rigs in Canada had to shut shop due to excessive production of geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) which posed a big threat to disrupt, or even destroy, sensitive instruments. But an unexpected side-effect of the storm was the stunning auroras that spread across the sky even in areas that they are rarely seen. The auroras were seen as far south as Colorado in the USA in the northern hemisphere, lighting up the sky in red and green colored hues.

Spectacular auroras captured in a video

Among the regions which got a chance to see these spectacular northern lights was Grassholme in the UK. Grassholme is particularly interesting because, situated around the halfway point in England, it rarely gets auroras. However, there is an observatory located in the village which constantly scans space and hosts events dedicated to such phenomena. And as luck would have it, on February 27, Grassholme was hosting an aurora event.

In an Instagram post, the official page of Grassholme Observatory wrote on February 28, “Well, you may have seen the news about last night's Aurora display! As it happens last night we were running one of our Aurora events. At these events we always tell guests we can't promise the Aurora will appear. HOWEVER, last night it made an appearance”.

“Even when the Aurora does appear at Grassholme (several times a year) we tell our guests that this far south you won't see colours with the naked eye, just with a camera. HOWEVER last night the greens and reds were clearly visible to the naked eye as the Aurora danced across the skies,” it added. You can see the amazing video below.

The northern lights get their green color from Oxygen in the air which gets ionized when it comes in contact with highly charged and heated up solar radiation at lower altitudes. At higher altitudes (200-300 kilometers), however, the same Oxygen atom breaks down to give the reddish hues which form the predominant color pattern for most auroras.

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First Published Date: 02 Mar, 13:08 IST