Rare sighting of the aurora borealis in southern France

aurora borealis france

High solar activity over the weekend has allowed people as far south as Gap in the upper reaches of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region to get a rare glimpse of the Northern Lights. 

Usually reserved for those living in or close to the Arctic Circle, the aurora borealis have been observed as far south as the PACA city of Gap in the Hautes-Alpes. 

It’s all due to an intense solar storm caused by the sun over the weekend. Thanks to this, people living beyond the normal reaches of the Northern and Southern Lights – the aurora australis have also been livelier than usual – have been able to enjoy their awe-inspiring beauty for two consecutive nights.  

This level of solar activity only happens a few times every decade, but seeing the aurora borealis also depends on the right metrological conditions, making their spectacle that much rarer in lower latitudes.  

AuroraWatch UK, a group set up and run by astronomers from the University of Lancaster, were watching their dials closely on Sunday night as readings crept up to almost 1,000 nanoTeslas. Anything above 200 NT is considered enough to see the famous lights. The readings fell slightly on Monday night, and will continue to through Wednesday, when the solar storm is expected to resolve itself.  


Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram


Photo source: Vincent Guth for Unsplash