An explosion of extremely rare pink aurora borealis lit up the night sky over Norway after a solar storm struck a land It created a hole in the planet’s magnetic field. This breakthrough enabled high-energy solar particles to penetrate the atmosphere deeper than usual, releasing unusual colored lights.
The amazing light show was spotted on November 3 by a tour group led by Marcus Varek, a Northern lights Tour guide from Greenlander Tourism Company (Opens in a new tab) Based near Tromsø in Norway. The vibrant auroras appeared around 6 p.m. local time and lasted about two minutes, Varrick told Live Science in an email.
“This was the strongest pink aurora that I’ve seen in over a decade of groundbreaking tours,” Varrick said. “It was a humbling experience.”
Pink aurora appeared shortly after a small crack appeared in the magnetosphere – invisible magnetic field surrounding Earth and created by the planet’s liquid mineral core. Scientists discover the breakthrough after the G-1 secondary class solar storm It hit Earth on November 3, according to Spaceweather.com (Opens in a new tab).
Related: Do extraterrestrial auroras occur on other planets?
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The aurora forms when streams of high-energy charged particles, known as the solar wind, pass around the magnetosphere. The planet’s magnetic field protects us from cosmic radiation, but the shield is naturally weaker at the north and south poles, which enables the solar wind to slip through the atmosphere — usually between 62 and 186 miles (100 and 300 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. When solar particles pass through the atmosphere, they heat up intense gases, which then glow in the night sky, according to NASA (Opens in a new tab).
Aurora borealis commonly appear green, because oxygen atoms, which are abundant in the part of the atmosphere where the solar wind normally reaches, emit this color when excited. However, during the recent solar storm, rifting in Earth’s magnetosphere enabled the solar wind to penetrate less than 62 miles away, with nitrogen being the most abundant gas, according to Spaceweather.com. As a result, the aurora borealis gave off a neon pink glow as the supercharged particles mostly smashed into nitrogen atoms.
The rift in Earth’s magnetosphere also helped generate strong green auroras throughout the night, Varek said.
The magnetosphere hole was closed approximately 6 hours after it was first opened. During this time, a strange band of blue light also appeared in the sky over Sweden, remaining suspended in the sky for about 30 minutes, according to Spaceweather.com (Opens in a new tab).
However, experts are unsure whether this unusual phenomenon is an unprecedented type of aurorae caused by the compromised magnetosphere, or whether it is the result of something else. An expert indicated that the tape may have consisted of frozen fuel from a Russian missile, but no missiles were detected in the area, according to Spaceweather.com.
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