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    Extremely rare aurora borealis light up the French sky again, from Toulouse to Douai – Liberation



    After a first time in February, observers were again able to observe the aurora borealis overnight from Sunday to Monday. A rare phenomenon that is caused by strong solar activity.

    This phenomenon usually visible only once a decade has just taken place twice in two months. After already a celestial spectacle “exceptional” in February, the aurora borealis were again visible on the night of Sunday April 23 to Monday April 24 in France. Fluorescent pink and green colors lit up the sky across the country, the phenomenon was visible from north to south of the country.

    In question: a strong geomagnetic storm, writes the meteorologist Guillaume Séchet on Twitter. When the sun experiences strong eruptions, it ejects hot gas, “plasma”, in the direction of the Earth. And, “when the plasma reaches our planet, several atoms are excited”astrophysicist Eric Lagadec explained to Freed.

    Thus, nitrogen gives a pink color to the sky and oxygen causes a fluorescent green. When a large coronal mass ejection occurs, it’s called a storm.

    The result is a nighttime spectacle that can last for hours. Those, also called auroras, are generally visible in areas close to the North and South poles, such as Alaska or Norway. They can be observed – more rarely – in other regions.

    In France, the auroras are observable approximately every ten years, provided that the solar eruption is strong enough and oriented in the right direction. The countries of the Far North record up to several hundred per year.

    The phenomenon usually lasts “a day or two days, depending on the size of the cloud”, details Eric Lagadec. The astrophysicist also claims that the celestial event has no connection with climate change.


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