Solar storm 2024: Geomagnetic storm sparks stunning auroras around the Arctic Circle

Solar storm 2024: As we approach the solar maximum, the Sun’s activity is expected to increase further. The Sun has been showing its might in the last few weeks, with dangerous X-class solar flares spewing out on multiple occasions. All these solar phenomena hold the potential to cause damage on Earth to the electrical infrastructure. Technological instruments are especially at risk during these events, resulting in power blackouts and even disruption of radio communication. Just days after a G1-class geomagnetic storm hit Earth, another triggered auroras on March 3.

Solar storm

According to a report by spaceweather.com, a CME was hurled into space on February 28 by the Sun when a magnetic filament erupted that was connected to sunspot AR3592. Although it was initially not expected to hit Earth, its impact was bigger than expected. This CME impact resulted in a G2-class geomagnetic storm which triggered auroras over the Arctic Circle.

The stunning auroras were captured by Jan Eklind during a flight. Eklind told Space Weather, “I was flying from Oslo to Kirkenes on Scandinavian Airlines when the CME struck. Auroras spread across the sky with twilight in the distance and city lights below.”

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.

Also Read: Know all about the total solar eclipse 2024

Scientists study aurora 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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