On April 20 a solar geomagnetic storm unexpectedly hit our planet. This led to the Northern Hemisphere getting an impressive light show of colored auroras, reported GreatLakesLedger.com.
Many people from US and Canada saw the beautiful green and “electric-blue” lights on the sky and took photos to immortalize the streaks of colors.
People in cities from a different part of the worlds also witnessed the beautiful northern lights and shared their photos on social media. The lights filled the night sky until the sunrise and they even eclipsed the lights in the city.
Northern Lights In the Cities and in the Southern Hemisphere
In Montana, Philip Granrud photographed a green aurora that was so bright it could be seen from inside the city.
The amazing northern lights were seen by many people. In northern Manitoba, Matt Melnyk was piloting up in the sky at a 39,000 feet distance from the ground when he saw the “electric-blue auroras.” He snapped some snapshots of the auroras and sent them to the Spaceweather.com gallery.
He said in the description of his photos: “I’ve been flying airplanes for 20 years and photographing the Aurora for 10 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before”.
On Space.com, there were reports of these auroras from the Northern Hemisphere to the U.S. state of Indiana. The lights were seen even in the Southern Hemisphere, over the Australian island of Tasmania.
The Cause: An Interplanetary Shock Wave
Spaceweather.com said that these aurora lights are due to an unusual geomagnetic storm, because the solar flare that hit our planet on Friday were because of an “interplanetary shock wave”.
NASA researcher Yari Coloado-Vega stated that there was “a high-speed stream of particles” that leaked from a hole in the corona of the sun and it struck the magnetic field of the earth, so the solar wind was four times the usual intensity. However, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the geomagnetic storm was moderate (G2-level).
These storms produce bright auroras, with the blue ones being a rare sight.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.