Auroral curls, which can normally only be detected with sensitive instruments, have just been captured on video in Iceland.
Jeff Dai, astrophotographer and amateur astronomer, was in Kerid Crater in Iceland on January 16 when he noticed the aurora bending over him. The event lasted only a few minutes, but he was able to capture a time-lapse video and photo, according to his YouTube post.
What we know about aurora curls
Auroral curls are rare, so even scientists don’t have a definitive answer about how they form or why they occur, according to the bbcbut they are believed to be part of the magnetic waves that help create auroras.
POT reports that auroras are a natural light spectacle that arises from interactions between the sun’s solar storms and the Earth’s magnetic field. Oxygen creates green and red auroras, while nitrogen creates blue and violet auroras.
Scientists have several theories about how auroral curls are produced, according to the bbc.
“Some experts think that the formation of curls is due to forces driven by extremely low-frequency waves. Another theory is that they are produced when solar particles hit large waves in the Earth’s magnetic field and cause them to vibrate, like when you pluck a guitar string,” the BBC reported.
The reason scientists know about the existence of auroral curls, which are normally undetectable to the human eye, is because special magnetic instruments recorded them as wavy lines via a chart recorder, according to space.com.
We can expect more fantastic aurora shows this year.
The sun has what is known as the solar cycle. The sun’s solar cycle lasts approximately 11 years, and every 11 years the sun’s magnetic poles rotate, so POT.
During the solar cycle, the sun can have massive solar flares and coronal ejections, which can affect the intensity of our auroras and even our power grids, according to POT.
At the end of 2023, one of its largest solar flares occurred when an X5-class solar flare (one of the largest that can be) emerged from the moon, according to Forbes.
Tonight’s X5 #Solar flare! Although the peak of the flare has passed, the flare still continues. We can expect to see the flare loop system continue to grow for several more hours as the flare evolves through its decay phase. #spaceweather pic.twitter.com/T2mpIOcjpm
– Dr. Ryan French (@RyanJFrench) January 1, 2024
A new Expedia survey says many people are expected to see the auroras in 2024, according to Forbes.
The survey and Forbes described these places as some of the best to see the northern lights:
- Yellowknife, Canada.
- Churchill, Canada.
- Banff, Canada.
- Jasper, Canada.
- Narvik, Norway.
- Alta, Norway.
- Tromso, Norway.
- Isle of Skye, Scotland.
- Abisko, Sweden.
- Kiruna, Sweden.
- Alaska, United States.
- Michigan, United States.
- Minnesota, United States.