Stunning footage shows the Northern Lights bursting with colour over Lapland as scientists reveal the spectacular light show is MORE colourful because of a change in the sun’s atmosphere



This incredible footage shows the Northern Lights erupting with colour over Lapland. Scientists say the spectacular light show was bursting with more colour this week because of a huge hole that has opened up in the sun's corona. The northern and southern lights, also known as the 'Auroras', are triggered when electrically-charged particles from the sun enter the Earth’s atmosphere.



Solar flares only impact Earth when they occur on the side of the sun facing the Earth. Sometimes, these explosions can send out coronal mass ejections - large clouds of plasma and magnetic field that erupt from the sun. The increased number of charged-particles ejected from the hole in the sun's upper atmosphere combined with a potent burst of solar wind is believed to have fuelled more intense light shows.


These have also extended the reach of the 'Aurora Borealis', or Northern Lights, which can now been seen at high latitudes in the US and UK. The incredible video footage, shot above Luosto in Finland, shows the natural spectacle at its best.

The eerie light show, which was captured by professional photographer Jani Ylinampa, shows swirls of bright green clouds moving in the night sky.



'In the video of the aurora filmed in Finland we see lots of movement, and colours besides the usual green, such as some pinks and yellows at the fringe', Dr Melanie Windridge, physicist and author of Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights, told MailOnline.


'The reason coronal holes can trigger spectacular auroral displays is because these holes on the solar surface mean that fast solar wind can flow out unimpeded. Faster solar wind will have more impact than slower wind when it hits the magnetic field, in the same way that a faster car will have a more spectacular crash. More energy in the magnetic field means more acceleration of particles to Earth and therefore more dynamic and colourful aurora', she explained.

There are two types of Aurora - Aurora Borealis, which means 'dawn of the north', and Aurora Australis, 'dawn of the south.'



Typically, these light shows are only visible at high latitudes as Earth's magnetic field channels them towards the poles.


However, the combination of the hole in the upper atmosphere and the geomagnetic storm – that started on September 11 2018 – resulted in the lights being visible over a much wider area, with sightings reported as far south as Wisconsin, which is on a similar latitude to London. The geomagnetic storm is now subsiding, however, minor storms are still expected to be slightly more common, writes Space.com. 

The charged, magnetic particles from the solar storm can interfere with machinery in Earth's orbit as well as at the planet's surface, such as GPS systems and radio signals. They can also threaten airlines by disturbing Earth's magnetic field. NASA and the NOAA keep track of solar events using an array of telescopes and probes which help generate geomagnetic weather forecasts.



Researchers also study the sun to learn more about its structure as well as obtain data to make predictions about different types of solar flares. These include solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections, which are large clouds of plasma and magnetic field that erupt from the sun.


Solar flares and particles ejected via coronal mass ejections are associated with dark spots on the sun's surface. These are areas of intense magnetic activity, and when the magnetic fields in a sunspot cross each other, it can result in an energy explosion, known as a solar flare, which sends radiation into space.


Comments