Iceland hit the aurora jackpot on March 17 as an intense solar storm brought stunning northern lights displays to skies across the country.
According to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, the storm was a “G4” on the five-point scale, making it the strongest so far in this solar cycle. A solar cycle typically lasts 11 years; this storm was so intense that it overshadowed everything else from our sun’s current solar cycle. Northern lights sightings were reported as far south as New York and New Jersey!
Auroras occur when charged particles from the sun are deflected along the Earth’s magnetic field and collide with gas atoms in our upper atmosphere, causing those atoms to emit light. Every now and again, however, the sun will flare up and send a lot of charged particles our way, causing especially vivid auroras that can be seen much further south. (Vox)
Reykjavik – which is no stranger to the northern lights – was treated to an especially stunning view of the aurora borealis during this recent storm. Click here to see more amazing aurora photos taken in Iceland!