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The Kid Should See This

Will auroras get more intense in 2025?

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Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, captivate even those who live beneath their ethereal beauty every day. Indigenous peoples of the Arctic celebrate a rich tapestry of over 200 stories and legends for these dancing lights, and it’s no wonder; each night brings a unique display, painting the sky with nature’s elemental colors.

“Our first all sky cameras, which are the instruments for measuring or taking pictures of the auroras, we got them 1927,” Dr. Eija Tanskanen explains in this BBC Global video, “so we know that, at least, 1927β€”first scientific image on aurora, they taken.”

“After satellite era, started at 1957, when we started having satellites measuring solar wind between Sun and Earth, only then we could understand that it is actually caused by extraterrestrial reasons, not something close to the surface of the Earth.”

coronal mass ejections
When high-speed solar winds, composed of charged particles emitted by the Sun’s solar eruptions, interact with Earth’s magnetosphere near the poles, atoms and molecules activate in Earth’s upper atmosphere. As these excited atoms and molecules return to their resting state, they emit light, resulting in the colorful displays of auroras. NASA adds:

“The magnetosphere shields our home planet from solar and cosmic particle radiation, as well as erosion of the atmosphere by the solar wind – the constant flow of charged particles streaming off the sun.”

the sun's 11 year cycle
Every 11 years, solar activity follows a cycle of increasing and decreasing intensity. A higher number of sunspots, more solar activity, and stronger geomagnetic storms occur during the cycle’s peak. Tanskanen summarizes:

“During solar maximum you can see very very nice auroras but then, few years after, you can see even more complex structures in auroras.”

So what might we get to see in 2025 and 2026?

auroras overhead
Watch these related aurora videos next:
β€’Β Space Weather: Storms from the Sun
β€’Β How do solar storms happen?
β€’Β Understanding the Magnetic Sun – NASA Goddard
β€’Β Hisako Koyama, the woman who stared at the sun

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