What explains the rare appearance of the Northern Lights in the United Kingdom? Science

The northern lights were seen in the town of Whitley Bay, located on the coast of the United Kingdom, on Friday (10/5) – Photo: PA

The Northern Lights made a rare appearance across the UK on Friday night (10/5).

Many people on social media shared photos of these lights also visible in the south of the country, where the sight is even rarer.

According to experts it is possible The lights will be visible again this Saturday night (11/5).

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also issued a rare solar storm warning.

These storms increase the chances for people to see the light.

The extreme geomagnetic storm that occurred on Friday was classified as the tallest, Is called G5.

NOAA warns that a storm on this scale could potentially impact infrastructure, including satellites and power grids. However, there have been no reports of outages till date.

Northern lights seen in the English city of Leek – Photo: Reuters

Clear skies on Friday night made it possible for people almost everywhere in Britain to see the Northern Lights.

This phenomenon was also recorded in other countries, as shown in the photos accompanying this report.

In North America, NOAA said so The lights were seen as far south as Alabama and as far north as California.

Many Northern European countries also had to enjoy this spectacle.

The camera captured bright pink skies over Austria and purple over Germany. Additionally, observers in Slovakia, Switzerland, Denmark and Poland recorded the light show.

The light was also captured in China, with photos of fuchsia skies in the north of the country.

The Northern Lights seen at the National Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland on Friday (10) – Photo: Jacob Anderson / AFP

How rare is it to see the Northern Lights in places like the UK?

For example, in the United Kingdom, it is common to see only the Northern Lights. Areas further north.

However, there have been a number of occasions over the past year when Britons have managed to see mild displays of the aurora over southern parts of the UK.

This is because in a solar cycle lasting 11 years, we are approaching “solar maximum”, where there are naturally more sunspots on the Sun’s surface.

Sunspots are like giant volcanoes that expel charged particles in coronal mass ejections (CMEs). With more of them at this time, there is a greater chance of more frequent and stronger auroral activity.

It is also worth highlighting that, since science can better predict these phenomena and today many people have smartphones capable of capturing the bright light of the aurora, the number of sightings has increased over the last two decades. .

And, as always, away from light pollution, with a clear view of the night sky, you’ll have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Northern lights in Reix, Switzerland in the early hours of Saturday (11) – Photo: Denis Balibous/Reuters

What makes the sky pink in the Northern Lights?

the aurora borealis is a Nature’s spectacular light show that occurs when the Sun explodes on the surface -So-called solar flares – Colliding with gases in Earth’s atmosphere, Making bright stripes colored red, green and purple

The two most common gases in Earth’s atmosphere are nitrogen and oxygen. Oxygen atoms glow green – a color often seen in the aurora borealis, while nitrogen atoms emit purple, blue and pink.

The most impressive auroras occur when the Sun actually emits large clouds of particles called “coronal mass ejections.”

With reporting from BBC Weather’s Simon King and BBC News’ Jacqueline Howard.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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