A rare natural spectacle drew attention to the skies over Austria on Sunday evening. Pink auroras could be seen on the horizon just after 6 p.m. in many parts of the country. Later on Monday night, the colourful celestial spectacle could even expand and intensify.
Usually, auroras can only be seen in the far north, such as in Scandinavia. However, a unique constellation is currently making them visible beyond the Alps. The spectacular lights could also be seen from Lower Austria and Vienna on Sunday evening. The social networks were buzzing with reports, with a series of impressive images being shared by observers with other users.
An unobstructed view to the north and the darkest possible surroundings are conducive to observations. A particularly pronounced solar storm triggers the rare spectacle, explain meteorologists.
But there is an explosion in the sun that causes X-rays and UV rays. The lights are created when the solar wind penetrates the atmosphere. Electrically charged particles reach the earth and cause atoms in the air to glow.
The last time auroras were spotted in Austria was in March 2015, in places like Carinthia and Vienna’s Kahlenberg. At that time, solar solid storms also caused an extraordinary “aurora borealis.” In 2003, it could even be observed over Greece and the Canary Islands.
A long journey to earth
The sun’s activity occurs in cycles. Usually, there is an eleven-year cycle, but it can also last up to 13 years. Solar activity is currently unusually high. The peak is expected in 2025. On average, the ejected particles take one to three days to make the 150 million-kilometer journey to Earth.
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