Northern Lights Will Disappear From Britain By Mid-Century

Posted: Feb 2 2017, 2:17pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 2 2017, 2:22pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Northern Lights will Disappear from Britain by Mid-Century
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New study says that Britain may lost its magical Northern Ligths due to dramatic dip in solar activity

UK residents may not be able to view magical Northern Lights by the middle of the century.

Researchers from University of Reading suggest that Britain may lose its stunning sightings of Northern Lights due to unusual changes in solar activity. 

Solar flares, coronal mass ejections and strong solar winds are all forms of solar activity and this activity could be falling to its lowest in 300 years . Diminishing solar activity will reduce the overall size of the Sun’s atmosphere by a third and weakens its influence on Earth, which will result in restricting Northern Lights to north and south polar regions for at least 50 years.

“The magnetic activity of the sun ebbs and flows in predictable cycles, but there is also evidence that it is due to plummet, possibly by the largest amount for 300 years,” said lead study researcher Mathew Owens from the University of Reading's Meteorology department.

“If so, the Northern Lights phenomenon would become a natural show elusive to polar regions, due to a lack of solar wind forces that often make it visible at lower latitudes.”

Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, are created when charged particles ejected from Sun’s surface enter the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with its magnetic field. The electrically charged particles from sun are blown towards the Earth due to solar winds. If solar winds are strong enough to hit the Earth, they can trigger Northern Lights on the skies of northern and southern hemispheres. 

It is widely believed that Scotland is one of the best places to see the colorful, dancing lights. However, reduced solar activity inevitably means the absence of Northern Lights in the region.

The low solar activity will not only affect Northern Lights but it could also make Earth more vulnerable to technology-disrupting solar storms and harmful cosmic radiations.

Dr Mathew Owens says. “As the sun becomes less active, sunspots and coronal ejections will become less frequent. However, if a mass ejection did hit the Earth, it could be even more damaging to the electronic devices on which the society is now so dependent.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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