Sky gazers may be able to see the northern lights from Czechia this week

An eruption on the surface of the sun sent a wave of charged particles that hit the skies over Central Europe.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 27.02.2023 10:01:00 (updated on 27.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The northern lights were visible late Sunday evening in the skies over parts of Czechia. Stargazers might be able to see the aurora borealis again in the coming days but only far from city lights.

Pictures were captured by self-described stormchasers Jan Drahokoupil and Dagmar Drahokoupilová.

“We first noticed it among the clouds already from home – the village of Brandýsek in the Kladno district, but this view was not enough for us, so we got into the car and drove to try our luck outside the clouds all the way to Hazmburk,” Drahokoupil said on Twitter.

The colored lights on the horizon can be seen over the ruins of Hazmburk castle in his photo.

The aurora was visible over the northern horizon in Czechia and Slovakia on Sunday around 10:30 p.m. and then around midnight.

Eruptions on the surface of the sun on Friday shot a cloud of charged particles toward the Earth. Those reached us last night and caused what the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) called a “furious” geomagnetic storm that may grow in intensity in the coming days. Scientists recorded an even larger burst of particles from the sun on Saturday, and those should reach us tonight or tomorrow.

“In a few hours or dozens of hours, we expect the arrival of more particles from the sun. If that happens, there is a chance for another, more pronounced glow tonight too!” the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) said on Twitter.

Astronomer Petr Horálek told ČTK that the glow should be viewed above a clear northern horizon and away from cities. He added that forecasting the aurora borealis is difficult and its visibility cannot be guaranteed. But he was optimistic that they could be seen again tonight. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website shows current details on where the lights can be seen.

The lights are among the most beautiful natural phenomena in the night sky. The aurora borealis and their southern counterpart Aurora Australis are quite common in polar regions, but their occurrence is rare in lower latitudes.

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