Possible Northern Lights over Germany at the weekend

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The sun becomes more active and the probability of the Northern Lights in Germany also increases. There is a warning for Sunday evening.

Frankfurt – On November 5, the Northern Lights could be seen in the sky across much of Germany and even further south. This phenomenon may occur more frequently in the near future, for example next weekend. There is currently a possibility that the Northern Lights could appear over Germany on Sunday night (November 12). In what period and in which region this could happen is not yet clear, Carolin Liefke of the Friends of the Stars Association (VdS) explains to the news agency. dpa.

“A suitable solar flare occurred,” emphasizes Liefke. “There is a warning that you should keep your eyes open.” However, this does not mean that the Northern Lights will actually be visible. For example, if the solar storm hits the Earth during the day, the Northern Lights cannot be seen in the bright sky.

Aurora borealis in Germany at the weekend: clouds could disturb visibility

The clouds could also dash hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. According to the German Weather Service, the best chances for clearer skies lie in central Germany and possibly also in the north. “Things don’t look so good in the Southwest,” says DWD meteorologist Tanja Sauter.

If the solar storm hits the earth in the evening and the sky is clear, you should not expect to see the Northern Lights right on your doorstep. Ideally, the sky should be as dark as possible in order to see the vibrant colors. “You shouldn’t stay under the nearest streetlight, but as far away from the city as possible,” advises Liefke. You also need a clear view towards the north to see the colorful lights in the sky.

Northern Lights: In Germany it is possible to see the colorful Northern Lights

The Northern Lights (technical term: Aurora Borealis) are created with the help of the sun. During a coronal mass ejection, charged plasma is launched towards Earth, which reacts with our planet’s magnetic field. Magnetic short circuits in Earth’s magnetic field direct plasma into the polar regions, where the Northern Lights are often seen. If a particularly strong solar storm hits Earth, the Northern Lights can be seen even further south.

Aurora borealis in the sky above Schillig (Friesland district).  (archive image)
Aurora borealis in the sky above Schillig (Friesland district). (Archive image) © Markus Hibbeler/dpa

Because the Northern Lights could soon be seen more often in Germany

In the coming months, the Northern Lights may become more common in Germany as the peak of solar activity approaches. Just recently, experts at NOAA’s Center for Space Weather Prediction (SWPC) updated their solar maximum forecast. They now assume that the sun will reach its maximum activity between January and October 2024. A particularly large number of sunspots are visible on its surface and it ejects plasma into space more frequently.

However, solar storms not only cause the colorful Northern Lights, but can also have a downside. This includes high levels of radiation exposure for air travelers and astronauts. Satellites have problems and, for example, navigation systems no longer work properly. Radio failures can also occur. In the worst case scenario, a violent solar storm can paralyze power grids and render electrical appliances inoperable, experts continually warn. There have also been warnings of an “internet apocalypse”. (sheet/dpa)

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