Earlier this week, the Earth was hit with a G1 geomagnetic storm. Don’t worry, the scary-sounding storm actually had no effect on technology or on human beings — other than making us all look up a Mother Nature’s awe-inspiring beauty.
A geomagnetic storm is caused by large solar flares periodically set off by the sun. Those flares are known as “coronal mass ejections” and travel toward Earth at thousands of miles per hour. The storms are then measured by scientists on a scale of G1 to G5, with G5 being the most extreme, and most rare, storm category.
The only consistent side effect of geomagnetic storms is an increase in activity with the Northern Lights. And, thanks to the storm this week, people were able to catch a glimpse of a much more intense light show than usual.
In Sweden, the lights danced brilliantly over Earth, showcasing an array of colors including its traditional bright yellow-green hue and even a dusting of lilac purple around the edges.
But, Sweden wasn’t alone in its epic viewing. People in Iceland, Alaska and more were able to catch a glimpse of them too. And in Norway, a group of intrepid athletes took it one step further by using the Aurora Borealis as their own personal nightlight to go surfing under.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the surfers took to the water in Lofoten, a group of islands off northern Norway, despite the fact that the water temperature was just 39 degrees Fahrenheit, while the air sat at an even chillier 5 degrees.
Nils Blom, 38, Eddie Siswanto, 30, Nils Nilsen, 26, and Myrtille Heissat, 26, explained to the Times that there’s no other place they’d rather be than in the water, no matter how cold it is.
“Surfing to me is peace of mind, quiet inside my head,” Nilsen said.
If you’re jealous after looking at these photos, you can start planning your Northern Lights adventure right now.