British stargazers weathered the autumn chill on Wednesday evening to take in the brilliant green glow of the northern lights in the night sky.
A common sight over the Arctic, northern Canada, Scandinavia and Russia, the aurora borealis is rarely seen in the UK, but this time was seen as far south as Devon, with the Met Office attributing the phenomenon. “coronal mass ejection” from the sun.
These bursts of hot plasma on a star’s surface eject billion-ton clouds of electrically-charged solar particles, which travel millions of miles into space at 2 million miles per hour and can collide with Earth’s magnetosphere , later can move downwards. North and South poles of our globe.
“These particles then collide with atoms and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere and essentially heat them up,” telling Astronomer Tom Kers.
“We call this physical process ‘excitation,’ but it’s like heating a gas and making it glow.”
What results is a spectacular geomagnetic storm, the characteristic waves of aurorae and “curtains of light” caused by lines of force within Earth’s magnetic field, its lowest point usually above 80 miles above ground and its upper reaches thousands of miles into space. miles away. ,
The heating that accompanies the collision causes the primary gases, oxygen and nitrogen, in our atmosphere to react, leaving the eerie green, blue, pink and yellow colors we see.
“We sometimes see a wonderful reddish hue, and this is due to the interaction of oxygen with solar particles at very high altitudes,” says Mr. Kers.
“It’s only when the aurora is particularly energetic.”
But this light coming out in our northern skies is usually visible only at high latitudes near the poles.
A particularly strong reaction may appear further south, depending on cloud cover and the level of light pollution in the air.
The incident happened last weekend and made for good photographs in parts of Scotland and northern England.
This time around, Twitter users posted some stunning shots from southern locations like Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Devon.
The following shots were taken from the highlands of Cumbria, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.
But, in truth, Scotland had the best again.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /