ISRO Missions and Discoveries

What is Stable Auroral Arc?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Stable Aurora Arc

Mains level : NA

stable aurora arc

Central Idea

  • Recently, the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Ladakh has astounded the world with mesmerizing images of a rare red-colored aurora, known as a Stable Auroral Arc (SAR).

What is Stable Auroral Arc (SAR)?

  • Rare Phenomenon: SAR is a unique atmospheric occurrence witnessed during a potent G3-class geomagnetic storm.
  • Unconventional Origins: Unlike typical auroras resulting from space borne charged particles colliding with the atmosphere, SAR arcs have a distinct genesis.
  • Sign of Energy Flow: SAR arcs signify the transfer of heat energy into the upper atmosphere from Earth’s ring current system, a circular pathway carrying massive electrical currents encircling our planet.
  • Geomagnetic Storm Influence: During the recent geomagnetic storm, the ring current was dynamically charged due to prolonged intense geomagnetic activity, leading to the manifestation of SAR arcs.
  • Global Impact: This celestial event left its celestial mark across several regions worldwide.

How is it formed?

  • Solar Wind Interaction: Aurora formation begins when the sun emits charged particles from its corona, creating solar wind. Upon colliding with Earth’s ionosphere, the mesmerizing aurora takes shape.
  • Northern and Southern Counterparts: In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s recognized as the northern lights (aurora borealis), while in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s referred to as the southern lights (aurora australis).
  • Magnetic Dance: The varying appearance of auroras in different hemispheres is attributed, in part, to the intricate interplay between the sun’s magnetic field and Earth’s magnetic field.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥💥Smash Ethics by AIR 48, Ethics Topper 133 marks.
This is default text for notification bar