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Where are the northern lights visible in France this Sunday evening coming from?

Where are the northern lights visible in France this Sunday evening coming from?

The sky in France was decorated with beautiful colors on Sunday evening, November 5, 2023. The Northern Lights can be seen in many areas, especially in Alsace or the Alps.

Dancing light. This is the scene for some French people on Sunday evening, November 5, 2023. The Northern Lights were observed from 7 p.m. This phenomenon is observed in some places around 9 pm. The quick sighting has already been immortalized by many people, who share photos of their observations on social networks.

According to their publications, the Northern Lights phenomenon was observed in Alsace, above the Alps, in Auvergne or Pas-de-Calais. Other countries than France are spoiled by this beautiful pastime: the aurora is very widely admired in Europe, especially In Slovakia, Poland, In Ukraine Or In Sweden.

The Northern Lights as seen from Pas-de-Calois. //Source: X via @infoclimat (cropped photo)

What is the origin of these northern lights seen in France?

The auroras observed on the evening of November 5 may have come from a filament that “torn” in the Sun that same day. In the morning. « This nocturnal arrival of a tidal wave of solar particles is causing a geomagnetic storm at this moment (Sunday evening) and the formation of an aurora borealis visible from France. », Mentioned Scientific mediator Pierre Henriquet on X.

To be sure of seeing the Northern Lights, it is recommended to look at the sky in a northerly direction.

The Auroras were photographed at Le Mans.  // Source: X via @Axel_720 (cropped photo)
The Auroras were photographed at Le Mans. //Source: X via @Axel_720 (cropped photo)

How does the Aurora Borealis occur?

The northern lights, a type of polar aurora (along with the southern lights), are a luminous phenomenon that occurs in the Earth’s atmosphere. Auroras originate from the sun: more precisely, the solar wind. This stream of particles constantly ejected by the star’s atmosphere carries electrons and protons.

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A small fraction of these earthbound particles are directed toward our planet’s magnetic poles. The particles collide with gases in Earth’s upper atmosphere, filling the sky with shimmering colors. The observed hues (pink, red, green, blue, purple) depend on various parameters, including the heights at which particle collisions occur.


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