Extreme Solar Flares to Cause More ‘Northern Lights’ Across Europe

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Extreme Solar Flares to Cause More 'Northern Lights' Across Europe

The unprecedented G5 geomagnetic storms emitting solar flares from the Sun are set to create more Northern Lights across the UK and Europe tonight.

The UK’s Met Office issued a “90% chance” alert to see rare lights.

Earlier this month, the Northern Lights might be visible across parts of the UK.

Also known as aurora borealis, the bands of pink and green light were seen in northern parts of the UK, but they are normally only visible from places closer to Norway.

US government experts said the “extreme” geomagnetic storm made them visible far below the Arctic Circle.

Aurora displays happen when charged particles collide with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere around the magnetic poles.

The UK Sun reported:

In the northern hemisphere, most of this activity takes place within a band known as the aurora oval, covering latitudes between 60 and 75 degrees.

When activity is strong, this expands to cover a greater area – which explains why displays can be occasionally seen as far south as the UK.The visibility of the Northern Lights was increased on Friday because of an “extreme” geomagnetic storm, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The phenomena appears as beautiful dancing green and purple ribbons of light that have captivated people for millennia.

Unprecedented solar storms

Space.com reported that the intense auroras were spawned by massive solar flares and coronal mass ejections that erupted from the sun earlier this week, flinging wave after wave of charged solar particles toward Earth.

Those particles slammed into Earth’s magnetic field Friday, triggering what space weather scientists called a level G5 geomagnetic storm — something Earth has not seen since the truly epic solar storms of Halloween 2003.

“The reason for all this, well, there’s been two sunspot clusters, one in the northern hemisphere of the sun, one in the southern hemisphere of the sun,” Dahl said Friday.

Those sunspot groups, one of which is now 17 times the width of Earth, have been unleashing the strongest solar flares since at least 2017 this week.

In fact, the sun fired off another massive X5.8 solar flare overnight on Friday, NOAA SWPC officials said. X-class solar flares are the most powerful type of eruption from the sun.

The sun is currently in an extremely active phase of its 11-year solar cycle, and is amid a peak period known as solar maximum in which solar flares and explosive coronal mass ejections can be more frequent.

READ: U.S. Gov’t Scientist Warns Solar Storms Could Destroy Internet

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