Geomagnetic storm hits Earth causes afterglow of northern lights


On Monday, NASA sent out a G2 storm watch for Wednesday.  NOAA said the storm is weakened to a G1 level on Thursday.

The storm hit Earth’s magnetic field on Feb. 1st. And on February 2nd the afterglow effect was seen in areas of the Earth. Photographer Marcus Åhlund took photos over Tromsø, Norway to capture the glowing sky. He took pictures at 5 pm local time.

What is a geomagnetic storm?

A geomagnetic storm happens after a solar flare. But the energy exchange from the sun must be powerful enough to reach low-orbit space surrounding Earth. It creates a geomagnetic storm within solar wind, according to NOAA.

These type of space storms can heat the ionosphere, where Earth’s atmosphere meets space. This afterglow effect has been known to cause beautiful auroras seen from Earth.  Particles from the solar flares interact with Earth’s magnetic field, and the atmosphere to cause the glowing red and green colors that fascinate sky-watchers and space scientists.

The northern lights, known as aurora borealis, are visible to stargazers in strategic spots in the U.S and the far North and South parts of the globe. And it was clearly seen and photographed over Norway.