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May 22, 2024
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Romania Lights Up with Rare Aurora Borealis Display

On the night of May 10-11, 2024, skywatchers in Romania were treated to a rare and spectacular sight: the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, dancing across the night sky. This celestial phenomenon, typically associated with high-latitude regions, was visible due to a powerful geomagnetic storm that impacted Earth.

The storm, triggered by the Sun’s coronal mass ejections (CMEs), hurt charged particles toward our planet. These particles interact with Earth’s atmosphere, causing it to glow in vibrant green, purple, and blue hues. While the Aurora Borealis is common in places like Iceland and Norway, sightings in Romania are much less frequent.

Social media was abuzz with reports and stunning images of the Aurora Borealis from various locations across Romania. Observers described the light display as “absolutely breathtaking” and “a mesmerizing spectacle.” This unexpected event provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Romanians to witness this natural wonder.

Photo: Apele Romane Facebook

The appearance of the Aurora Borealis in Romania highlights the impact of space weather on our planet. Geomagnetic storms can disrupt communication systems and power grids, creating breathtaking light shows in the night sky. This event serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of Earth and the Sun and the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world.

The Aurora Borealis is a dazzling display caused by the Sun’s charged particles (solar wind) slipping through Earth’s magnetic field near the poles. These energetic particles collide with atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere, exciting them. Returning to their normal state, they release energy as vibrant green, red, and blue light, creating the mesmerizing celestial ballet we know as the Northern Lights.

This time, a strong G5 solar storm caused this phenomenon, the most powerful solar storm of the last decades.

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