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Northern Lights In Europe Turned the Sky Green and Pink: Strongest in the Last 20 Years

The biggest solar storm in over 20 years hit Earth on May 10, causing Northern Lights in Europe, from Tasmania to Britain. People posted pictures of this Strongest Electromagnetic storm and Auroras in Europe.

The first burst of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun, called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), happened around 1600 GMT (Between 4 – 6 pm), said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Space Weather Prediction Center. 

Later, they said it was the “Strongest Electromagnetic storm”, marking the first occurrence since the “Halloween Storms” of 2003.  Many people shared pictures of Auroras in Europe on social media from places like northern Europe and Australasia.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also said that more CMEs are likely to hit Earth soon.

To be safe, authorities told satellite operators, airlines, and power companies to prepare for any uncertainty caused by these changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.

They said that the Northern lights in Europe occurred from a huge sunspot ( temporary spots on the Sun’s surface that are darker than the surrounding area) that’s 17 times wider than Earth. The Sun is getting more active as it reaches the peak of its 11-year cycle.

People from far places like West France, Tuscany, Liverpool, and different parts of Scotland saw these Northern lights in Europe. The sky turned pink and green, making it a stunning view that made people go outside to witness. The beautiful Auroras in Europe, which usually show up in the far north, were seen in southern England, which doesn’t happen often.

Mathew Owens, a space physics professor, told AFP that although the effects of these northern lights in Europe will mostly be felt in the northern and southern parts of the world, but how far they reach will depend on how strong the final storm gets.

He said, “Go outside tonight and look would be my advice because if you see the aurora, it’s quite a spectacular thing.” And if you have eclipse glasses, you can also check out the sunspot during the day.

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