Another intense solar storm has just brought the dazzling ‘Northern Lights’ to the Tar Heel State for the second time in a month.
Evan Fisher, a meteorology major at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, captured the mesmerizing sight in a stunning photograph, showcasing the vivid colors that swept across the sky, although he notes in his tweet that he left just before some of his students captured even more spectacular photos of the event.
Said unfortunate event: pic.twitter.com/BiTAxAGked
— Evan Fisher (@EFisherWX) April 24, 2023
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the solar storm was the result of a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME), which released a massive blast of superhot material from the sun. This eruption hurled scorching plasma, a highly energized gas composed of charged particles, toward Earth at a staggering speed of nearly 2 million miles per hour.
The influx of solar particles triggered a geomagnetic storm, causing the Earth’s magnetic field to become disrupted. As these charged particles from the sun interacted with the planet’s magnetosphere, they created a dazzling light show in the form of auroras. While the northern lights are typically confined to higher latitudes, such as the Arctic Circle, the strength of this particular solar storm expanded their reach as far south as the Carolinas.
Did you catch the light show this week?