A solar storm causes an unusual ``orange aurora''

by Harlan Thomas

Photographer Harlan Thomas succeeded in taking a photo of the ``orange aurora'' in Alberta, Canada. Auroras usually don't turn orange because they get their color from atoms and molecules in the atmosphere, but it is thought that

solar storms have created an environment in which such a sight can be seen.


Solar storm causes 'impossible,' pumpkin-colored auroras to fill the sky | Live Science

Auroras produce their colors when energetic particles rain down on Earth from space and collide with atoms and molecules in the atmosphere. The generally known aurora is green, but this is the color of oxygen atoms, and at high altitudes, the same oxygen atoms turn red.

by Mbz1

On October 19, 2023, photographer Harlan Thomas photographed a previously unknown 'orange' aurora in Alberta.

Orange Auroral Pillars

According to spaceweather.com, which covers space news, it is theoretically possible for nitrogen and oxygen to emit light in the orange wavelength, but it is weaker than other colors that can be produced at the same time, so it is difficult to see. It is said that it will not happen.

According to Kelmar Oksavik, an aurora physicist at the University of Bergen in Norway, the red aurora seen at the top of the photo is formed when low-energy electrons collide with oxygen atoms at high altitudes (200km to 400km). The green aurora at the bottom of the photo is said to be formed when high-energy electrons collide with oxygen atoms at low altitudes (100km to 150km altitude).

This time, the most recent solar storm caused by the Sun's coronal mass ejection (CME) collided with the Earth. Oksavik explains that the resulting red aurora and green aurora overlap, giving the appearance of an orange aurora.

A similar powerful solar storm occurred during Halloween in 2003, and similar orange auroras were observed and reported in North America and northern Europe.

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• Discord | 'Have you ever seen the aurora?' | GIGAZINE

in Science, Posted by logc_nt