Slovenians enjoy northern lights at home
After days of miserable weather, skywatchers in parts of Slovenia were rewarded with a beautiful spectacle in the early evening on 5 November as the skies were lit up by the northern lights.
Sightings of the aurora borealis were reported mainly from the northern and eastern parts of the country, from Bled to Maribor, Ptuj, Trebnje, and other places, including the vicinity of the capital Ljubljana.
People took to social media to post their pictures, sharing them with the media, marvelling at a phenomenon that is known as the Holy Grail of skywatching.
"Best #aurora in 20 years!!!," Jure Atanackov, a geologist and researcher with the Slovenian Geological Survey and amateur astronomer, exclaimed on X next to pictures of the sky in pink and blue shades above the Trebnje area in the south-east.
The aurora borealis occurs when energized particles from the sun slam into Earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 72 million kilometres an hour.
The moment they hit the atmosphere, it is possible to see them as a dazzling display in the sky. The colours depend on the elements present in the atmosphere - for example, red is caused by nitrogen and green by oxygen.
The atmospheric phenomenon is a very common in places near the south and north poles, but when the Sun is more active, most often in autumn and spring, it can also be observed elsewhere.
Astronomers detected a powerful solar flare on 3 November, with a cloud of electrified particles travelling towards Earth.
Experts say Slovenians will have a chance to see the aurora borealis in the coming days as well.