Extremely rare pink Aurora Borealis is produced by a fierce solar storm that blasts Earth.


Rare pink auroras were visible in the sky of northern Norway on November 3 as a result of a brief rift in the Earth’s magnetic field.

Due to the solar wind’s ability to break through the magnetosphere, the area around the Earth where cosmic rays are normally stopped, charged energetic particles from the Sun are primarily responsible for auroras. In contrast, the magnetosphere is weaker at the two poles than it is elsewhere, allowing solar wind particles to enter the atmosphere.

Although they don’t usually travel very far, they do eventually arrive at an altitude with a lot of oxygen atoms, which are frequently excited and ionized by charged particles from the Sun and frequently emit a green color. However, this time, a powerful solar storm opened a hole in the magnetosphere, allowing the solar particles to penetrate farther than usual and interact with nitrogen atoms found lower down. A pink glow is produced by these atoms in turn.

Observers from a tour group led by Markus Varik, a northern lights tour guide from the Greenlander tour company based close to Troms, Norway, were the first to witness the unusual phenomenon. The colorful auroras appeared at around 6 p.m. local time and persisted for roughly 2 minutes, Varik wrote in an email to Live Science.

In more than a decade of giving tours, Varik noted, “These were the strongest pink auroras I had seen.” It was an encounter that humbled me. Strong green auroras were also made possible by the Earth’s magnetosphere crack during the entire night, Varik continued.

About six hours after it first started to close, the magnetosphere hole was sealed. According to Spaceweather.com, a bizarre blue light ribbon also appeared over Lake Tornetrask in Sweden at same time, hanging still in the sky for almost 30 minutes. Photographer Claudio Comi, who works in Swedish Lapland for another tour company, captured it.

across Lake Tornetrask, the blue ribbon.

Experts aren’t sure, though, if the strange blue ribbon was the result of the breach in the magnetosphere or something else entirely, as it could have been a previously unheard-of type of aurora. According to Spaceweather.com, no Russian rockets were seen in the area on that day, despite one expert’s speculation that they might have been made of frozen rocket fuel.

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