Northern Lights possibly visible from Switzerland

Northern Lights possibly visible from Switzerland
Northern Lights possibly visible from Switzerland

Astronomers expect the Northern Lights to be visible over Switzerland overnight from Friday to Saturday. As the Hubelmatt Observatory in Lucerne indicates on its website, they could be observed in the hours after midnight until dawn.

To observe them, you have to be in a dark place. The observatory recommends a high point with a clear view to the north. The expected polar auroras can be explained by the fact that the Sun is currently experiencing a particularly high number of flares.

The Northern Lights form when these solar flares, composed of charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, enter the Earth’s atmosphere. They collide with gases in the atmosphere, mainly oxygen and nitrogen, which release energy and light.

The color of the Northern Lights depends on the type of gas particles that the charged particles interact with in the atmosphere as well as the altitude at which these interactions occur. Green aurora borealis is often due to interaction with oxygen in the upper layers of the atmosphere, while red or purple colors may be due to interaction with nitrogen.

When the solar wind reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, the charged particles are directed toward the polar regions by the Earth’s magnetic field. This process has the effect of bringing the particles closer to the poles. For the polar auroras to be visible as far away as Switzerland, the solar winds must be very strong. Already in recent days, such light phenomena have been observed in our latitudes.

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