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Northern lights dance across the Hessian sky – also coming night | hessenschau.de

Colorful nights are inspiring many people in the country this weekend. The strongest solar activity in around 20 years brings the northern lights all the way to Hesse.

On Saturday night, as announced by star watchers and meteorologists, the northern lights appeared over Hesse. The reason for the rare green, purple and pink Northern Lights, which otherwise only appear in the night sky as far as Scandinavia, is a so-called solar storm.

On Friday he warned American Meteorological Service NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ahead of a level five solar storm. This apparently results in mass ejections from the sun, i.e. huge emissions of so-called plasma.

This category on the five-point scale was last reached in October 2003. The reddish-green auroras occur when electrically charged particles are thrown from the sun into the Earth’s atmosphere.

To watch in the dark

The northern lights were particularly visible on Saturday night where it was dark – i.e. outside in nature, far away from street lamps or other lights. Elevated places, for example, were well suited for this. But the weather also had to cooperate for the polar sightings.

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Rare natural spectacle shines over Hesse

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Starry conditions allowed a view of the natural spectacle, for example over Riedstadt (Groß-Gerau), the Pferdekopf near Schmitten-Treisberg (Hochtaunus), Braunfels (Lahn-Dill), Amöneburg (Marburg-Biedenkopf) or over the Wasserkuppe near Gersfeld (Fulda ). Dozens of people waited there until late at night for the northern lights.

The sky also glowed purple-green over Frankfurt’s skyline, as the German Weather Service (DWD) reported on X.

Second chance on Sunday night

Anyone who missed the spectacle will probably have another opportunity to catch a glimpse on Sunday night. The US weather agency NOAA expects the solar storm to last through the weekend.

hr meteorologist Pila Bossmann expects that the visibility conditions next night will be even better than last night. The sky is “widely clear of stars”, only in the southwest of Hesse can there be light veiled clouds, says Bossmann.

Frankfurt Airport: No impacts recorded

The solar storm in Hesse on Saturday night probably did not have any negative effects. In addition to the rare light spectacle, such strong solar activity can lead to disruptions in navigation systems or power grids.

As a spokeswoman for Frankfurt Airport said on Saturday morning, there were no incidents overnight due to the solar storm.

The northern lights last appeared over Hesse in 2023. The similarly strong solar storm in 2003 even led to power outages in Sweden.

Why so much Northern Lights?

There is a reason why Northern Lights sightings have been increasing in Hesse since autumn. Increased solar activity is responsible for this. This goes through an eleven-year cycle with sometimes weak, sometimes strong activity, and we are currently moving towards the activity maximum of the current cycle.

This can be recognized by the so-called sunspots. The more spots, the more active the sun. These spots sometimes explode and then send clouds of plasma into space. If the direction is correct, they hit the earth, are captured at the poles and cause particles in the ionosphere to glow – the northern lights are created. The more plasma that separates from the sun, the more intense the event becomes.

Huge sunspot

The sunspot responsible for this week’s explosive activity and many bursts of solar plasma is gigantic in size. It measures more than 200,000 kilometers from east to west, making it more than 15 times larger than the diameter of the Earth.

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