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The third night is suitable for the northern lights in the midst of a solar storm

The third night is suitable for the northern lights in the midst of a solar storm

For the third night in a row, curious people from around the world will have the opportunity on Sunday to admire the magnificent northern lights that set the sky ablaze, brought about by a historic solar storm.

From Austria to California, from Russia to New Zealand, bright blue, orange or pink images have colored social networks since the beginning of the weekend.

This phenomenon is caused by the emission of particles from the Sun, which causes geomagnetic storms when they reach Earth.



mega/win

Conditions associated with a Level 5 geomagnetic storm, the maximum level on the scale used, were observed Friday evening and then Saturday, according to the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). For the first time in 20 years.



mega/win

If the twilight on Saturday night was weaker than it was on Friday, the phenomenon should continue on Sunday, according to the agency.

Eric Lagadec, an astrophysicist at the Côte d'Azur Observatory, wrote on the social network

An opportunity for residents of many countries to observe the magnificent northern lights.



John Finney/Wayne

A little disturbance

Matthew Owens, a professor at the University of Reading, told AFP that the severity of this phenomenon “surprised us all.”

But if the authorities are concerned about the possible consequences for electricity and communications networks, no major outages have been observed so far.



Getty Images via AFP

Only “preliminary” information was reported about “irregularities in the power grid” as well as “degradation of high-frequency communications, GPS and possibly satellite navigation,” according to the US Space Weather Prediction Center.

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Billionaire Elon Musk, whose Internet network Starlink has thousands of satellites in low orbit, confirmed on Channel X that “they are under a lot of pressure, but they are holding up so far.”



Getty Images via AFP

Regarding air traffic, the US Civil Aviation Agency said on Friday, “We do not expect serious consequences,” while advising airlines and pilots to “anticipate” potential turbulence and geomagnetic storms that could disrupt navigation tools.

China's National Space Weather Center also issued a red alert on Saturday, warning that the solar storm is expected to continue through the weekend and affect communications and navigation systems, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.



Getty Images via AFP

It was reported that the northern lights were seen in the northern half of the country.

“Halloween Storms”

In the United States, the northern lights were visible in almost all parts of the country. They can be admired as far away as the Bahamas, according to NASA.



France Press agency

The space agency explained that strong solar storms could “push the aurora to southern latitudes.”

The Sun is currently approaching its peak activity, a cycle that returns every 11 years.



Getty Images via AFP

Solar flares called coronal mass ejections, which can take several days to reach Earth, are what trigger the current event, creating auroras when they come into contact with Earth's magnetic field.

The last observed Level 5 geomagnetic storm was in October 2003, an episode dubbed the “Halloween Storms.”

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The largest solar storm ever recorded occurred in 1859, according to NASA. Also known as the Carrington Event, it seriously disrupted telegraph communications.