Austral lights offered a magical show in Patagonia

The inhabitants of Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, witnessed this Friday a spectacle as magical as it was extraordinary: the southern lights dyed the southern sky intense red, leaving a postcard so impressive that it was captured in thousands of photographs and went viral on the networks. social.

In addition to this spectacular burning sky, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) warned that the phenomenon was repeated at the Orcadas base, located near the Antarctica, but there the sky showed various shades, from greenish to orange tones.

The southern lights over Tierra del Fuego will be remembered by the Ushuaians, who had the privilege of admiring a sky tinted with pinks and reds.

In Ushuaia, the phenomenon began to manifest itself after alerts were issued in the last few hours about the largest solar storm to hit the Earth in two decades.

Never before had such an impressive postcard been seen in this city, which is why many Ushuaians took to the streets to observe this exceptional natural phenomenon.

Many of them began sharing images on social networks, in which you can see the complete aurora australis with a deep pink tint, and described the sighting as "something historic" and "incredible."

The aurora australis: A light show in the night sky

The aurora australis, also known as polar aurora, are a natural phenomenon that lights up the night sky with a dance of vibrant colors, mainly in the polar regions. This celestial spectacle, which has inspired myths and legends throughout history, is the result of the interaction between charged particles from the Sun (solar wind) and the Earth's magnetic field.

A journey through the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field

  1. The solar wind: The Sun, in its constant activity, releases a stream of charged particles known as solar wind. These particles, which travel at high speed, are mainly electrons and protons.
  2. The protective shield: Earth has a magnetic field which acts as a protective shield, deflecting most of the harmful particles of the solar wind.
  3. Attraction towards the poles: The Earth's magnetic field is not uniform and has the shape of a dipole, with north and south poles. The particles of the solar wind, guided by this field, are concentrated in the polar regions, where the magnetic field lines approach the Earth's surface.
  4. Shocks and excitement: Upon entering the Earth's atmosphere, charged particles from the solar wind collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms that are at high altitudes. These crashes excite to the atoms, raising their energy to an unstable state.
  5. Light emission: Upon returning to their normal state, the atoms release accumulated energy in the form of light, creating the visual spectacle of the northern lights.

A color palette in the sky

The color of the aurora australis depends on the type of atom get excited and altitude at which the excitation occurs:

  • Green: The most common color, produced mainly by excitation of oxygen atoms at heights of between 90 and 150 kilometers.
  • Red: Less common, produced by oxygen atoms greater height, above 200 kilometers.
  • Blue: Produced by the excitation of nitrogen atoms at altitudes of between 100 and 200 kilometers.
  • Violet: Combination of red and blue colors, creating a tone purple.

A spectacle to behold in polar latitudes

The northern lights are most visible in the polar regions of both hemispheres, due to the way the Earth's magnetic field directs charged particles toward the poles.

  • North Hemisphere: Aurora borealis (most common)
  • Southern hemisphere: Aurora australis (less common)

In the northern hemisphere, the northern lights can be observed in countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Canada and Alaska. In the southern hemisphere, they can be seen in the Antarctica, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand.

Tips for witnessing the northern lights

If you want to witness this natural spectacle, I recommend:

  • Plan your trip in advance: See the lens assembly tutorial solar activity forecast to choose the best time for your trip.
  • Choose a location with dark skies: Get away from the Light pollution of cities increases the chances of seeing the northern lights.
  • Be patient: Observing the Northern Lights may require wait several hours, especially if solar activity is not very high.
  • Dress appropriately: Temperatures in the polar regions can be bajas, so it is important to wear warm clothing.
  • Bring a camera: Don't forget your camera to capture this unforgettable show!

The northern and southern lights are a natural phenomenon unique and fascinating that will leave you breathless. If you have the opportunity to witness it, don't hesitate to enjoy it to the fullest!