The Aurora is definitely one of nature’s beauties, but solar storms that create them are some massive beasts that have the ability to overload all electronic devices on the planet, The Daily Mail reports.
Juan Carlos Casado took a photo of such a beautiful aurora that lit up the night sky of Iceland.
The image is showing the aurora reflected in Thingvallavatn Lake, and it has been selected as a NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Even if the solar storms that generate the aurora are usually harmless, a large enough one hitting Earth could have catastrophic effects.
Such a storm has been recorded back in 1859 when it managed to knock out the telegraph networks on a global scale.
This caused telegraph pylons to spark and give operators painful electric shocks.
The Northen and Southern lights
The displays of such aurora borealis and australis are commonly known as the Northern and Southern lights, and they appear when energetic particles are blowing into the solar wind from the Sun, and they breach our planet’s magnetic field.
After these incoming particles collide with gasses, they heat up and emit light.
Aurora is usually harmless, but a solar wind that’s strong enough and hits the Earth could really have some devastating effects, and these include bringing down power and communication networks.
“Admire the beauty but fear the beast,” Casado said in his picture caption.
“The beauty is the aurora overhead, here taking the form of a great green spiral, seen between picturesque clouds with the bright Moon to the side and stars in the background. The beast is the wave of charged particles that creates the aurora but might, one day, impair civilization.”
Such a dangerous wavefront hit our planet back in 1859.
The Daily Mail writes that the solar storm compressed the Earth’s magnetic field so violently that it induced electric currents in telegraph wires.
Rada attended the courses in the Faculty of Letters, Romanian-English section, and finished the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Theatrical Journalism section, both within the framework of Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. Up ’til now, she reviewed books, movies, and theatre-plays, enjoying subjects from the cultural niche. Her experience in writing also intersects the IT niche, given the fact that she worked as a content editor for firms that produce software for mobile devices. She is collaborating with online advertising agencies, writing articles for several websites and blogs.