Against the background of the strongest magnetic storm in recent years, residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg can see the northern lights, informed Solar Astronomy Laboratory (IKI RAS and ISTP SB RAS).
The planetary magnetic storm began on March 23 around 4:00 p.m. Moscow time and, although its peak – 7.66 points on a 9-point scale – was exceeded around 2:00 a.m. Moscow time on the night of March 24, it continues nowadays.
“According to the international classification, storms of this level have the following consequences: false alarms of protection systems in power supply networks; the formation of a noticeable surface load on the elements of spacecraft, an increase in their drift from orbit; disruptions in satellite navigation and disruptions in HF radio communications,” explained to the Solar Astronomy Laboratory.
Experts say that under current conditions, auroras can be seen up to latitudes of 45-50 degrees – that is, in particular, in the Moscow region and the Leningrad region. On the evening of March 23, hunters of the northern lights of St. Petersburg actively published new photos of Aurora Borealis in public networks – for example, there are such shots in telegram channels “Swamp Photo Astro ” And “Siyashechnaya No. 1 “.
The Solar Astronomy Laboratory clarified that the current magnetic storm is not associated with large flares on the Sun, but is caused by “an extremely rare factor for events of such strength”: the Earth fell into a fast flowing solar wind from a coronal hole.
“At present, the unusually large coronal hole that caused the storm is directly visible in photographs of the Sun,” the lab said in a statement.
The diameter of this hole is about 1 million kilometers. According to experts, given such an “unusually large size”, the magnetic disturbances, with possible interruptions, will continue for about two to three more days.
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