Rare aurora borealis spotted in Gibara

Rare aurora borealis spotted in Gibara

HAVANA, May 11  An amateur meteorologist photographed an aurora borealis north of Gibara, Cuban province of Holguín, on Friday night.a phenomenon associated with polar regions that can rarely be seen in tropical countries.

Although reports of the northern lights in the Caribbean nation are scarce, similar events were recorded in the past, such as the one documented by Cuban meteorologist Andrés Poey Aguirre in the summer of 1859, local media reported.

Another sighting of these spectacular displays of luminescence took place on September 4, 1872, and among the last known reports is an event that occurred in March 1989 during a large solar storm that affected the Earth.

The aurora borealis, like its southern counterpart, is the result of the interaction between gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and the solar wind: a stream of electrically charged particles coming from the sun.

When these fragments reach Earth, they interact with the planet’s magnetic field, generating streams of charged particles.

Some ions are trapped in the ionosphere, where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms, excite them and release energy in the form of light, thus creating the impressive light show that left many amazed last night.

Last Friday, May 10, the Earth experienced one of the most powerful solar storms in more than 20 years.

Powerful solar activity unleashed magnificent northern lights in several regions and raised concerns about possible disruptions to communications and power grids over the weekend.

The first of several coronal mass ejections, accompanied by large plasma emissions and magnetic fields from the Sun, reached the planet at noon, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.