A stronger Geomagnetic storm hit Earth on September 4 resulting in beautiful auroras that appear like ‘dancing shapes and pillars’ in the sky.
The Sun has been erupting frequently lately and throwing high energy storms towards earth every now and then. Recently, several solar flares have hit the Earth and resulted in beautiful auroras in the sky. Recently, a G2 class geomagnetic storm has triggered beautiful auroras on September 4 and more are coming in the next few days. For the unversed, a G2-class geomagnetic storm is created when a stream of charged particles or solar wind – flowing from a hole in the Sun – hits Earth. This time the storm lasted over 24 hours and the auroras appeared in different parts of the world.
According to Speceweather.com, the auroras were visible over the United States (US) as the geomagnetic storm hit earth from New Hampshire to Michigan to Washington. The auroras appeared as ‘dancing shapes and pillars’ in the sky.
Twitterrati flooded social media with photos taken in different parts of the world. Space weather expert Dr Tamitha Skov tweeted, “Aurora has dropped deep into mid-latitudes & you must look to the south if you’re in central Saskatchewan, Canada, or at a similar latitude! We’re now at G2 levels. Views possible down to Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, & Oregon. Get ready New Zealand & Tasmania, you’re next! (Sic).”
What is a geomagnetic storm?
Geomagnetic storms are caused by CMEs that generate huge solar storms that are propelled towards Earth. The CME is a huge expulsion of hot material called plasma from the Sun’s outer layer. When these solar storms smash into the Earth’s atmosphere and cause a geomagnetic storm. Most of the solar storm’s energy is absorbed there. However, if the solar storm is too strong to be absorbed by our protective atmosphere, the energy reaches the Earth and these can cause severe damage to all electrical infrastructure. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, these storms can heat the ionosphere – where Earth’s atmosphere ends and hence causing beautiful auroras here on Earth.
What is Coronal Mass ejection?
According to NASA, the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields closed, often above sunspot groups. The violent release of gas bubbles and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections.