This was also the case when the northern lights literally tinkled in the Icelandic sky, creating distinctive glowing green curls. These unusual and extremely rare structures were photographed after a powerful “burst” of solar wind hit our planet's magnetic field, causing it to shake.
This was such a fleeting event that observers saw only the vibrations of a single line of waving green light crossing the sky over Iceland. A moment before and a moment after, the aurora borealis looked as it always did. Scientists point out that the unusual display of the strength of the solar wind is the result of strong vibrations that appear in the Earth's magnetic field as a result of the sudden increase in the density of the stream of solar particles reaching the Earth's vicinity.
Read also: The aurora borealis appeared where it should not be. Astronomers grabbed their heads
He shared photos of an unusual wave in the green arc of the aurora borealis of his own Instagram Jeff Day, astrophotographer and member of the World at Night (TWAN) project. As he writes, L Notes This happened in Creed Crater Lake in the southern part of the island. The unusual wave in the sky was visible for only a few minutes, after which the twilight returned to normal.
Auroras appear in the night sky when high-energy solar wind particles collide with gas molecules in the Earth's atmosphere. This does not happen all over the Earth, because before reaching the atmosphere, solar wind particles encounter magnetic field lines that redirect them toward the pole, where they collide with the atmosphere. Therefore, they are only visible in a small area of land. Normally, when the aurora borealis appears, it is lights dancing across the sky in a completely random way.
However, curls like the ones seen in Iceland on January 16 don't have anything random about them. As observers point out, this is a highly organized version of the aurora, created as a result of the appearance of ripples in the magnetosphere, the so-called extremely low frequency waves. Such an event usually occurs when a powerful storm of solar wind collides with the magnetosphere that protects our planet. The waves then propagate throughout the entire magnetosphere like the oscillations of a bell. In everyday life, waves of this type are completely invisible, and scientists are notified of their appearance only by special scientific instruments. However, in this particular case, these vibrations allowed solar wind particles to penetrate the magnetosphere into the atmosphere and cause characteristic waves.
Read also: The northern lights are impressive, but they look even better from space. See for yourself
Scientists point out that this time it was not possible to determine what type of waves caused these aurora locks. Although the waves themselves were observed, scientific equipment did not monitor this part of the sky. However, observers believe that in this case we were dealing with magnetic pulses with a wavelength of up to one kilometre.
Both aurora borealis and ULF waves are more common during periods of high solar activity. Since we are currently seeing maximum solar activity rapidly approaching, it is likely that both the aurora borealis and the northern lights will appear in the night sky in the coming months or years.
Echo Richards embodies a personality that is a delightful contradiction: a humble musicaholic who never brags about her expansive knowledge of both classic and contemporary tunes. Infuriatingly modest, one would never know from a mere conversation how deeply entrenched she is in the world of music. This passion seamlessly translates into her problem-solving skills, with Echo often drawing inspiration from melodies and rhythms. A voracious reader, she dives deep into literature, using stories to influence her own hardcore writing. Her spirited advocacy for alcohol isn’t about mere indulgence, but about celebrating life’s poignant moments.