There are two types of auroras: Northern lightswhich is formed in the northern hemisphere, and southernset in the south. They can occur anywhere in these hemispheres, but are usually seen near the poles. However, the intense solar activity we are experiencing recently has resulted in them being able to be seen much farther away. For example, recently some of them have been seen in north of uk. But on April 23, they sank even lower, reaching the northern lights at south of Spain.
Some observatories such as Calar Altolocated in the Sierra de los Filabres, in Almeria, captured this unusual phenomenon. It has also been found in Cáceres and of course in other countries at the same latitude.
This is not the first time the Northern Lights have been observed in Spain. For example, the case of what was seen during the Civil War is very famous, not because it is the only one, but because of the curiosity that most people who saw it confused it with the glow of bombs. There are also some related to the 21st century, in particular in 2003. But none of this makes what you just see cease to be special.
This is how the northern lights are formed
Auroras, both northern and southern, are formed excitation of gas atoms in the atmosphere from charged particles solar winds. The reason they are usually only seen near the poles is because they deviate a magnetic field until you reach them, where is the field much weaker.
However, if solar activity is intense enough, they are able to reach the atmosphere at latitudes far from the poles. We know that solar activity is determined by 11 year cycles. These cycles begin at the time of the so-called solar minimum, when there are very few sunspots on the Sun. That is, the magnetic activity is low. Often the number of spots riseswe can say that there are more activities and it is easier for them to occur winds and solar stormswhich are responsible for the auroras.
We currently know that we are at a point of great activity within the solar cycle. Many solar flares and a few auroras have been detected much further south. But, without a doubt, the case of Spain is quite special.
Northern Lights captured by cameras in southern Spain, especially reddish shades. The color of the light from the northern or southern lights depends on the composition of the atmosphere. If the oxygen atoms are excited, we see the characteristic greenish color that we normally associate with them. But, for example, if it is nitrogen, a bluish light is produced, which can sometimes turn purple or reddish.
Some northern lights have also been spotted at points in the southern United States such as Texas. However, NASA chose as the April 25 astronomical image one taken in Cáceres by an astrophotographer. Lawrence Cordero.
This and other photos can be seen in the Instagram account of this professional with more than 25 years of experience. Without a doubt, it was a special moment to photograph the sky. And best of all, as NASA explained, the unusual solar activity we’re experiencing could give us some other Northern lights that special one.
Source: Hiper Textual