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In pictures: Northern Lights illuminate skies across Asia, Europe, UK, USA following solar storm

A rare solar storm unleashes a dazzling display of the Northern Lights, captivating observers with its breathtaking beauty and potentially disrupting power and communication systems

Our Web Desk Published 11.05.24, 03:00 PM
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The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, glow on the horizon at St. Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay on the North East coast, England. A remarkable surge in solar activity unleashed a powerful solar storm, injecting a surge of energy into Earth's magnetosphere, resulting in a stunning display of the Aurora Borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights, gracing the skies across the United Kingdom, Europe and United States with their usually elusive and mesmerising glow.

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The Northern Lights appear in the night sky over East Brandenburg. The celestial spectacle, forecasted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center as the most potent event since 2003, captured the imagination of sky-watchers worldwide, who found themselves spellbound by the unforgettable display of nature's breathtaking beauty as the powerful solar storm, ignited a mesmerising showcase of the Northern Lights.

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A crimson glow lit up the dark sky in parts of Ladakh in a rare stable auroral red arc event at the Hanle Dark Sky Reserve in the high Himalayas due to the strong solar magnetic storms launched towards Earth. The solar storms or coronal mass ejections are from the AR13664 region of the sun that has produced several high energy solar flares, some of which are travelling towards Earth at a speed of 800 km/s, scientists at the Centre of Excellence in Space Sciences in India (CESSI), Calcutta, said.

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Northern lights appear in the night sky above the Brocken in Schierke, northern Germany. The heightened solar activity, a result of increased solar flares and eruptions, generates mesmerising auroras that gracefully dance around Earth's polar regions, a celestial phenomenon recognised and revered as the captivating Northern Lights.

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X / @shanew21

When electrically charged particles from the sun collide with Earth's magnetic surface, it results in an even more spectacular display than usual. The vibrant colours witnessed during these celestial displays are a result of the charged particles from the solar wind colliding with gases in Earth's atmosphere, each collision producing a unique spectral palette that graces the sky with an array of mesmerising hues, ranging from vibrant greens and blues to delicate pinks and purples, captivating observers with its ever-changing and awe-inspiring beauty.

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X / @whereisyvette

An unusually strong solar storm hitting Earth produced northern lights in the US this weekend and could potentially disrupt power and communications. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a rare severe geomagnetic storm warning when a solar outburst reached Earth on May 10 afternoon, hours sooner than anticipated. 

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X / @katebomb

This storm poses a risk for high-voltage transmission lines for power grids, not the electrical lines ordinarily found in people's homes. Satellites also could be affected, which in turn could disrupt navigation and communication services on Earth.

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