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Business News/ Science / News/  Northern Lights: Auroras may light up the skies for another night as massive solar storm continues | See Pictures
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Northern Lights: Auroras may light up the skies for another night as massive solar storm continues | See Pictures

A rare celestial event of auroras, caused by a massive solar storm, captivated viewers worldwide across multiple nights. Geomagnetic storms induced by coronal mass ejections reached extreme levels, with minimal disruptions reported to power and communication networks.

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, illuminate the night sky over the mountains in Le Col des Mosses pass, Ormont-Dessous, Switzerland, during the early hours of Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)Premium
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, illuminate the night sky over the mountains in Le Col des Mosses pass, Ormont-Dessous, Switzerland, during the early hours of Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

A rare celestial event, the auroras or ‘Northern Lights’, was visible across various parts of the globe for the another consecutive night on May 11, as per an AFP report. Caused by a massive solar storm, expected to last till May 12, these captivating displays already mesmerised viewers worldwide on May 10.

Also Read | Northern Lights visible in India? Aurora borealis may glitter tonight in this state

"I have the sensation of living through a historic night in France... It was really charged, with solar particles and emotions. Find good spots, away from the lights, with a clear view to the north!," Eric Lagadec, an astrophysicist at the Observatoire de Cote d'Azur, wrote on social media after the first night, AFP reported.

The commencement of the event unfolded shortly after 1600 GMT on Friday, as confirmed by the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), the report said. This phenomenon resulted from the initial occurrence of several coronal mass ejections (CMEs), involving the expulsion of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun.

Also Read | Missed aurora borealis? You may have another chance to see Northern Lights tonight

Solar Storm Lights Up The Skies

The intensity of the solar storm escalated to an "extreme" geomagnetic storm, marking the first instance since the "Halloween Storms" in October 2003, which led to blackouts in Sweden and inflicted damage on power infrastructure in South Africa, as per the report.

Friday's storm attained level five geomagnetic conditions, the highest on the scale. Subsequently, Saturday witnessed conditions ranging from G3 to G5, with predictions indicating G4 or higher conditions persisting into Sunday, and the possibility of G3 conditions extending into Monday, it added.

Also Read | Northern lights dazzle over UK, Europe, skywatchers say, ‘Get a load of this aurora borealis’

Fortunately, despite initial concerns expressed by authorities, there have been no significant disruptions reported to power or communication networks during this period. The SWPC has only received “preliminary reports of power grid irregularities, degradation to high-frequency communications, GPS and possibly satellite navigation", AFP said.

Here's a Look At the Spectacular Skies

A view shows the lights of an aurora australis caused by a geomagnetic storm over Villarrica volcano, in Pucon, Chile May 10, 2024
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A view shows the lights of an aurora australis caused by a geomagnetic storm over Villarrica volcano, in Pucon, Chile May 10, 2024 (Reuters / Cristobal Saavedra Escobar )
Kathryn Richer (left) and her friend Andrea gaze upon the Northern Lights at Chanticleer Point Lookout on the Columbia River Gorge in the early morning hours of May 11, 2024 in Latourell, Oregon. Places as far south as Alabama and parts of Northern California were expected to see the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights from a powerful geomagnetic storm that reached Earth.
View Full Image
Kathryn Richer (left) and her friend Andrea gaze upon the Northern Lights at Chanticleer Point Lookout on the Columbia River Gorge in the early morning hours of May 11, 2024 in Latourell, Oregon. Places as far south as Alabama and parts of Northern California were expected to see the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights from a powerful geomagnetic storm that reached Earth. (Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Getty Images/AFP)
The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, caused by a coronal mass ejection on the Sun, illuminates the sky over Jericho Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada May 10, 2024.
View Full Image
The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, caused by a coronal mass ejection on the Sun, illuminates the sky over Jericho Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada May 10, 2024. (Reuters / Chris Helgren)
The Northern lights fill the sky at the Bogus Basin ski resort on Saturday, May 11, 2024 in Boise, Idaho.
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The Northern lights fill the sky at the Bogus Basin ski resort on Saturday, May 11, 2024 in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo / Kyle Green)

(With inputs from AFP, AP and Reuters)

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Published: 12 May 2024, 07:46 AM IST
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