A violent geomagnetic storm has provided an opportunity to see the Northern Lights at much lower latitudes than usual. Photos and reports from Germany and other European countries and North America have been shared on social media. The spectacle was caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun. The CME’s particles interacted with the earth’s atmosphere and excited certain atoms to glow. The US climate and atmosphere agency NOAA warned of potential irregularities in power grids, GPS navigation systems, and radio reception. NOAA has since indicated that the storm may be weakening, reducing the chances of seeing the Northern Lights again in the coming night.
Despite this, the sky spectacle can still be enjoyed through photos and videos taken from various parts of the world, including Russia, the USA, and Canada. It has been noted that solar storms causing aurora borealis have recently increased again after years of relatively little solar activity. Our star is becoming more active, and will reach its next activity maximum between November 2024 and March 2026. Thus, more polar lights may be seen in the future. Interested parties can learn more about the Northern Lights from NOAA’s Aurora dashboard.