The biggest solar storm in six years has given a spectacular view of the Northern Lights to sky watchers in Norway, Iceland and some parts of the United Kingdom. The Earth was bombarded with radiations, producing lights known as the aurora borealis.
According to NASA, these Northern Lights are caused by charged particles that emit from the sun due to a storm. As the particles interact with the Earth’s atmosphere, they create spectacular displays of green light, forming amazing shapes.
The free light show by the biggest solar storm in six years was captured by many sky watchers, a dazzling view they would never forget.
"I was screaming from excitement like a small kid at Christmas," said sky watcher Jens Buchmann, who watched the Northern Lights from Kiruna, Sweden, and captured various photos of illuminated wispy green ribbons dancing across the sky over the snowy landscape.
Many people booked a last minute flight to catch just a glimpse of something so rare and amazing.
Another sky watcher in Finland, Antii Pietkanen made a special snowmobile ride with companion Thomas in order to catch the ligts.
"The show started slowly and after 15 minutes the landscape was green!" Pietkänen said. "This was the first time for Thomas to see the northern lights, and he was very happy."
The constant explosions of stunning hues of red, white and green made the trip of sky watchers worth it as they kept on switching between snapping photos and keeping warm near the campfire.
The lead researcher at the Space Weather, Yihua Zheng said that the storm might trigger some minor interference with the satellites causing problems with the broadcast of radio, TV and telephone signals.
“This could maybe cause communication errors at the polar caps, but the magnetic activities are probably not too strong."
The flare has been classified as M9-class solar flare, which is moderate in level but still is quite a powerful sun storm. Doug Biesecker, a space weather center physicist, said the effects of the storm were visible for many days because the radiations were in the form of protons and "the whole volume of space between here and Jupiter is just filled with protons and you just don't get rid of them like that."
According to NASA, the radiations from the solar storm are expected to continue till Wednesday, though in strengths weaker than the previous ones as the sun is currently in its active phase of 11-year solar cycle. More solar activity is expected in 2013.