IN IMAGES, IN PICTURES. Northern Lights: “I cried with joy!”, the most beautiful photos and the emotion of the inhabitants of Occitanie

the essential
It is a magical spectacle which was observed on Friday and Saturday in the sky: very rare phenomena of aurora borealis caused by a solar storm.

Observed as far away as the south-west of France during the night from Friday to Saturday, the impressive northern lights should once again set the sky ablaze this Sunday, the consequences of an “extreme” solar storm which began to strike the Earth at the start of weekend, also raising fears of disruptions to electricity and communications networks. This storm is caused by a series of mass ejections from the solar corona.

The Durban mill in the Gers photographed during the night from Friday to Saturday.
MAXPPP – SEBASTIEN LAPEYRERE

From Tasmania to France, from Saturday morning, photos of the Northern Lights taken by amateurs and professionals flourished on social networks, accompanied by amazed comments. “I have the feeling of living a historic night in France […] It was really full of solar particles and emotions”, underlines Eric Lagadec, astrophysicist, who gives advice for optimal observation: “Find good spots, far from the lights, with a clear view to the north”.

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Northern lights lit up the Gers sky, an extremely rare but striking spectacle

Conditions related to a level 5 geomagnetic storm, the maximum level on the scale used, were observed Friday evening.

The storm is expected to continue this Sunday, with the arrival of additional coronal mass ejections. Irregularities in the power grid and degradation of high-frequency communications and GPS are, however, expected.

An apocalypse sky captured by Elouan in the Lot.

This type of storm first affects the latitudes around the poles, but the stronger the storm, the more likely the phenomenon is to be observed lower down. Even if no aurora borealis is apparently visible, “go out into your backyard and take a photo with a newer smartphone, you will be amazed at what you see,” advised Brent Gordon, branch chief of the weather service. spacecraft of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“Immense hope to see her”

In Occitanie, in the Toulouse region in particular, incredible photos of the Northern Lights were taken between midnight and one in the morning. “I took them from my garden in Saint-Cirq in Tarn-et-Garonne. My dream was to see them and it came true last night, at home with one of my daughters! I cried with happiness !” says Sophie Mazars.

Sophie in Tarn-et-Garonne cried with emotion at this spectacle.
Sophie in Tarn-et-Garonne cried with emotion at this spectacle.

In Ayzieu and Durban in the Gers, but also in Villefranche-de-Royuergue or in Quercy, dreamers and photo enthusiasts were amazed: “Positioned in Montalzat I did not have a huge hope of seeing it , only a small hope of seeing the sky take on a pink and purple color But what was my surprise when around midnight everything started to get carried away with perfectly bright vertical lines perfectly visible to the naked eye. explains Mehdi who captured the phenomenon from Montalzat with a view of Montpezat.

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IN IMAGES, IN PICTURES. Solar storm: the Northern Lights visible from Lot-et-Garonne

Anthony's photo, captured on the heights of the Meuse this Friday evening.
Anthony’s photo, captured on the heights of the Meuse this Friday evening.
DR – ANTHONY FERY

Elouan was also able to take unforgettable photos: and for good reason, the 16-year-old young man who lives in Castelnau-Montratier in the Lot is an astronomy enthusiast who regularly observes the starry sky!

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