The Kiruna all-sky camera is in a prime spot for aurora viewing.
A chunk of the planet was treated to a wild festival of aurora lights on Sunday evening. If you weren’t in a spot where you could see the action, you can still catch up on the fun with a gorgeous timelapse video captured in Sweden.
The European Space Agency’s SSA Space Weather Coordination Centre shared the eye-catching video of the northern lights in a tweet on Monday. The view is like looking up at the sky through a marble. It shows waves and waves of swirling green and red aurora lights dancing across the frame.
Here’s ESA #SpaceWeather Networks contribution from Kiruna 🇸🇪 @IRF_Space last night! Spectacular minute-cadence images that really capture the dynamic flow and both green🟢& red🔴 #Aurora #NorthernLights
🌐https://t.co/gHlFrzdPUX https://t.co/UgJcnLqg6X pic.twitter.com/5OFR4nHTQu
— ESA Space Weather (@esaspaceweather) February 27, 2023
The video comes from a Swedish Institute of Space Physics camera in Kiruna, Sweden. It’s an all-sky camera, so it shows the view from horizon to horizon with the purpose of monitoring aurora. It snaps one image per minute.
The vivid northern lights are thanks to the sun spitting out a coronal mass ejection, aka CME, a dramatic outburst of plasma. That CME arrived at Earth just as a solar wind (a stream of charged particles from the sun) cruised around us. Those ingredients combined for excellent aurora conditions.
The sun has been going a bit bonkers lately,and CMEs as it ramps up its activity. CMEs give the gift of auroras, but they can also disrupt satellites and spacecraft and even impact power grids.
According to ESA, lights were visible as far south as southern England and central Germany. Kiruna is known as a hot spot for aurora action, so the camera there was treated to a dramatic show. The aurora is expected to continue, so you can check in on the camera yourself for the latest images from Sweden.