Aurora Captured in India, a Rarest of Rare Phenomenon

An abysmally fast solar wind interacted with the air of a low-altitude atmosphere to produce this unconventional, unique aurora.

Photo by stein egil liland on

Nature is spectacular. And complex. And unpredictable.

Recently, mother nature has got a surprise for the entire populace of the Indian subcontinent. An aurora in the sky of the northwestern mountain city of Ladakh.

And such an event is rarest of rare in the skies of Asian countries.

Auroras are visible in the high altitudes, the magnetic poles of Earth.

Aurora borealis occurs as the high energy particles of solar wind collide with the magnetosphere of Earth.

Such collisions excite the subatomic particles of the magnetospheric air atoms and their deexcitation emits light across the optical spectrum.

The sky of Ladakh was lit up vibrantly on the nights of 22-23rd April, captured by the Indian Astronomical Observatory in Hanle, Ladakh.

This aurora wasn’t the conventional one, opined scientists.

It appeared to be a stable auroral red (SAR) arc which has a major red hue, unlike its polar counterparts which comprises a band of different light patterns.

This one is a static and monochromatic light.

The reason why it occurred at such a lower altitude is the extraordinary speed of the solar wind which happen to hover around 500-600 km/s.

To put it in perspective, aurora borealis is caused by a solar flare of speed 250-300 km/s.

Such rare events have been witnessed in the skies of Europe, China, and India. The last time it occurred was in 2015.

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