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Everything to Know About The Aurora Phenomena

Everything to Know About The Aurora Phenomena
Northern Lights in Joshua Tree National Park, USA

The earth experienced a “historic” geometric storm on Friday, which went on into the weekend. The night skies were awash with different spiraling colors and ribbon designs to the shock of many who have not experienced the “Auroras”, which occur around every 11 years.

On Tuesday, there was another sighting but they weren’t as intense as the lights over the weekend. The beautiful phenomenon was visible in states like New York, Vermont, Idaho, Maine, and Washington.

Geomagnetic storms are more common during the solar maximum, which is the moment when the Sun’s magnetic poles flip, and are associated with increased sunspots and solar flares.

The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted the current cycle would peak between January and October.

NOAA is a United States of America (USA) agency tasked with leadership roles in shaping international ocean, fisheries, climate, space, and weather policies. It collects data through research programs, vessels, satellites, science centers, laboratories, and a vast pool of distinguished scientists and experts.

Everything to Know About The Aurora Phenomena

What Causes Auroras

A full understanding of the physical processes that lead to different types of auroras is still incomplete, but the basic cause involves the interaction of the solar wind with Earth’s magnetosphere. The varying intensity of the solar wind produces effects of different magnitudes but includes one or more of the following physical scenarios.

Everything to Know About The Aurora Phenomena

Best Places to View The Northern Lights

It’s difficult to predict where the Northern Lights will be visible. NOAA, according to their data, shows they might be visible in Canada and northern states like Washington, Montana, and North Dakota.

The lights are the most active between 10 PM and 2 AM.

For the best views of the Northern Lights:

  • travel as close to the poles as possible
  • avoid city lights and other light pollution
  • monitor weather forecasts for prime viewing conditions
  • find a vantage point position like a hilltop

The storm could affect the power grid as well as satellite and high-frequency radio communications. The US government said it is monitoring all possibilities of such a major impact.