On April 20 a geomagnetic storm reached our atmosphere, and the results were quite dramatic. While the shock wave did not come with any harmful effects, there were some positive outcomes. People in the United States were able to admire some beautiful sights after blue auroras lit up their skies.
The interplanetary shock wave hit the Earth around 3:50 a.m. EDT (2350 on April 19 GMT) according to Spaceweather.com. Solar wind was a direct effect, as the flow of particles that came towards Earth from the Sun was intensified. This led to a G2 geomagnetic storm, which is a moderate one that does not come with serious consequences. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) explained exactly what caused this storm.
A direct consequence of the geomagnetic storm were the auroras that could be seen in the sky. People from New York, Wisconsin and Washington, up to Canada, were able to spot these beautiful lights, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center.
It appears that these auroras could be seen from six different northern US states that are placed in the Northern Hemisphere. However, some people in the Southern Hemisphere were able to spot the auroras as well, as long as they lived in Tasmania.
Enjoying the view
The auroras were a delight for many people, and most of them started posting pictures of them on social media. Some amazing images of blue auroras were caught by pilot Matt Melnyk. The auroras had different colors, and there were even green, yellow and red elements in them.
These colors are caused by the charged particles that manage to excite the oxygen molecules. When more particles come towards Earth the auroras become brighter and more colorful.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here