IIA’s observatory captures red-hued Aurora from Hanle, Merak | India News

BENGALURU: In what astronomers are calling “sudden” however “lovely shock”, the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Hanle and Merak, Ladakh, captured gorgeous pictures of an intense red-coloured aurora on the evening of November 5.
The IAO, operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, is famend for its astronomical analysis and observations.
Auroras, sometimes noticed at excessive latitudes like Scandinavia, are a wide ranging curtain of sunshine attributable to the interplay between the Earth’s magnetosphere and incoming photo voltaic wind carrying charged particles and magnetic fields.
“Nevertheless, what made this sighting distinctive is that this aurora displayed a uncommon hue. Termed a Secure Auroral Arc (SAR), it appeared in vivid shades of crimson, contrasting the extra frequent inexperienced and blue curtains of sunshine related to larger latitudes,” IIA mentioned on Wednesday.
The crimson aurora phenomenon was seen in direction of the northern horizon from 10pm till midnight on November 5, with its depth peaking round 10:40pm.
Dorje Angchuk, the engineer-in-charge of IAO, reported this spectacular prevalence, IIA mentioned, including that the occasion was not unique to Hanle, as a number of areas all over the world additionally witnessed the same SAR occasion.
“The photographs have been captured utilizing an All-sky Digicam on the IAO, which frequently displays the complete celestial sphere. Merak, one other Ladakh-based location on the banks of Pangong Tso, generally known as the proposed website for the Nationwide Giant Photo voltaic Telescope, additionally managed to seize this unimaginable celestial show, though it was partially obscured by the presence of upper mountains within the north,” IIA mentioned.
The bizarre auroral exercise has been linked to a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) — large ejections of plasma and magnetic fields from the Solar’s decrease ambiance, which may have an effect on the Earth because it travels by way of the photo voltaic system — that occurred on the Solar two days prior.
Information from NASA’s area missions indicated a filament eruption from the Solar on November 3 at 10:15am, adopted by a ‘Halo’ CME noticed after 11:10am, IIA mentioned.
Vemareddy, a photo voltaic astronomer and college member at IIA, defined that the photo voltaic storm hit Earth’s magnetosphere, resulting in a Geomagnetic Storm beginning round 3:30pm on November 5 and peaking at 1:30am on November 6.
When a CME passes Earth, the interplay between the photo voltaic wind’s magnetic fields and Earth’s magnetic subject permits energetic particles, equivalent to electrons and protons, to enter the ambiance close to the polar areas. This interplay leads to a geomagnetic storm and, in some instances, an aurora.
Though the crimson SAR occasion has a barely totally different bodily course of, it too is a results of a geomagnetic storm, IIA mentioned. These interactions are identified to influence numerous facets of expertise, together with radio communication, satellite tv for pc well being, and energy grids.
“The looks of such an auroral emission at decrease latitudes like Ladakh, located at 33° North, is a uncommon and thrilling prevalence. Hanle is central to the newly designated Hanle Darkish Sky Reserve, identified for its exceptionally darkish skies, attracting astronomy fans and astro vacationers,” IIA mentioned.
IIA director Professor Annapurni Subramaniam, expressed pleasure about finding out extra such auroral actions from Hanle, significantly throughout the Solar’s lively durations. The attract of uncommon celestial occasions just like the crimson SAR aurora continues to reinforce the enchantment of Hanle as a hub for astro tourism and scientific analysis.

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