The northern lights are considered an astronomical phenomenon, and residents of the Far North are often lucky to observe them. On the night of October 30-31, there will be an opportunity to observe the northern lights also from Poland. Where can you look for stunning views in the sky? How and when do you monitor it? Explains Carol Wojski, an astronomy promoter and author of the “And His Head is in the Stars” blog.

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On October 28, astronomers from NASA and other space agencies reported the occurrence of numerous coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on the sun. Plasma ejected in up to four such mass thrusts reaches Earth. This means that the northern lights will appear not only in the polar regions, but also in low latitudes, including Poland.

The aurora borealis burst can last from a few minutes to several minutes. When these particles reach Earth, they move along our planet’s magnetic field lines. Some particles collide with the poles, causing the aurora borealis to glow. Others follow an extended “tail” of the magnetic field, extending far from the Sun, that is, into the Earth’s shadow. The most powerful of these flares can interfere with radio and satellite communications.

When viewed from the International Space Station or other spacecraft in orbit, the northern lights appear as a glowing green oval around one of Earth’s poles. However, the energy accumulates in a magnetic field and from time to time it is rapidly released into the atmosphere as an electric current. This volcanic eruption causes the aurora borealis to change color to purple, red, and white.

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Northern lights in Poland

Karol Wójcicki, promoter of astronomy and author of the blog With His Head in the Stars emphasizes that “predicting the appearance of aurora borealis at low latitudes never gives 100 percent certainty of its hunt. We still have very little data to predict what will really happen.” . However, he adds, “the chance of aurora borealis in Poland today is much greater than usual, so it’s well worth the hunt.”

Observers in the north of the country, but also in the center, will have the best chance of observing.

Northern lights. Where and when do you watch the sky?

The aurora borealis are only observed from Poland low above the northern horizon. Therefore, Wójcicki advises choosing an area with an open view to the north as a place of observation. The point is that there are no artificial lights and distant cities in our field of view. He asserts: “If you live in a city, be sure to go beyond its limits – in cities there is not the slightest chance of seeing such a subtle phenomenon.”

The best chances of the aurora borealis appearing around 7 p.m. Saturday. After midnight they will be much smaller.

Northern lights. What will it look like?

As the author of the blog With His Head in the Stars wrote, the northern lights seen from Poland wouldn’t look like “beautiful pictures from the far north.” Instead, it will appear as a pale glow. “Under favorable conditions, we will be able to see the minute structures in the form of vertical light poles. Their colors will likely only appear in the photos, so it’s a good idea to have a camera on a tripod at hand” – explains Wójcicki. Recommend the use of wide angle and portrait lenses.

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The weather will be favorable for observation. On the night of October 30-31, we expect a clear halo to appear, and fog may appear only locally. The moon will rise so late that – if twilights appear – natural light will not interfere with admiring it.

PAP, Head in the stars,

Main image source: stock struggle