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    Geomagnetic Storm 14th of March 2018

    WATCH: Massive Geomagnetic Storm Fills Swedish Sky With Dancing Lights

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    Photographer Oliver Wright, who also works for Swedish aurora tourism company Lights Over Lapland, captured stunning footage of bright, dancing lights illuminating the sky over Abisko, Sweden, earlier this month.

    In the March 14 video, purple, green and white light is seen spreading from the horizon, swirling and changing shape.

    In the description of the YouTube video, Wright wrote, "Totally amazing aurora tonight (the forecast was right) whilst guiding for Lights Over Lapland. Multiple coronas (i.e. super-fast-moving auroras straight above us) possibly the best I've ever seen."

    "Anyway, I did some real-time video of one of the best bits. It's a few minutes long but if you are into aurora I think it's worth viewing. Lots of colors and some super fast auroras dancing across the sky," he added.

    ​Auroras, also referred to as polar lights, northern lights and southern lights, are produced when a stream of high-energy charged particles emitted by the sun collides with and penetrates the Earth's magnetosphere, a region surrounding the planet. When the high-energy particles interact with gas molecules in Earth's upper atmosphere, the resulting ionization of the gas molecules causes them to glow in multicolored lights.

    "In my four years of guiding, it really was an amazing night of multiple coronas and fast-moving auroras," Wright told Space.com. "As you can see in the video, it just got brighter and faster. I had to stop the video, though, as my hands started to get really cold." 

    The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that a solar storm was expected to interact with the magnetosphere above the Northern Hemisphere on March 14 and 15 in what it called a geomagnetic storm. Auroras were also visible from northern US states such as Maine and Michigan.

    Large geomagnetic storms can damage satellites, electric grids and communications systems. Last year, two scientists from Harvard University, Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb, proposed installing a magnetic reflector between Earth and the sun to deflect solar particles back into space.

    "The related engineering project could take a few decades to construct in space," Loeb told Gizmodo last year. "The cost for lifting the needed infrastructure to space — weighing 100,000 tons — will likely [cost around] hundreds of billions of dollars, much less than the expected [solar storm] damage over a century."

    NASA scientists have also investigated installing a similar kind of shield to protect astronauts from high-energy particles emanating from the sun.

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    solar storm, photography, lights, Sweden
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