Northern lights visible in Switzerland

Northern lights visible in Switzerland
Northern lights visible in Switzerland

Northern lights were observed by a Keystone-ATS photographer in the canton of Vaud, above Daillens.

MeteoSuisse had earlier reported the appearance of auroras above Ravoire in the commune of Martigny (VS) late Friday evening. The natural phenomenon was also noted by the Winterthur Eschenberg observatory.

The Hubelmatt Observatory in Lucerne announced on Friday the probable appearance of the Northern Lights in the Swiss sky between midnight and dawn. To see them, it is recommended to go to a dark place and to a high point with a clear view to the north.

Rare solar storm

A solar storm of rare intensity which hit the Earth on Friday explains the appearance of these northern lights, which are extremely rare in our latitudes.

Auroras form when these solar flares, composed of charged particles, mainly electrons and protons, enter the Earth’s atmosphere. These collide with gases in the atmosphere, mainly oxygen and nitrogen, releasing energy and light.

Alert in the United States

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.

In the United States, a geomagnetic storm alert of level 5, on a scale of 5, a level described as “extreme”, was issued by the American Oceanic and Atmospheric Observation Agency (NOAA). GPS, power grids, spacecraft, satellite navigation and other technologies may be affected, according to the agency.




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