Nasa has released new pictures of a stunning aurora and issued an ominous warning to everyone living here on Earth.

Astronomers said the northern lights are the visible signs of a phenomenon that could bring civilisation to its knees.

Auroras are caused when charged particles from the sun slam into Earth’s atmosphere.

Normally, these solar storms are nothing to worry about.

But it’s feared that a super-strong sun squall could cause chaos around the world by bringing down the communications networks which power our societies.

It’s feared a strong solar storm could cause the collapse of civilisation (Image: Nasa)

Nasa wrote: ‘Admire the beauty but fear the beast. The beauty is the aurora overhead, here taking the form of a great green spiral, seen between picturesque clouds with the bright Moon to the side and stars in the background.

‘The beast is the wave of charged particles that creates the aurora but might, one day, impair civilization.’

The most famous solar storm occurred in 1859 during the ‘Carrington Event’, when a pulse of charged particles produced during a solar flare bombarded Earth’s magnetosphere.

If this happened today, the results would be devastating.

Nasa added: ‘The Carrington Event compressed the Earth’s magnetic field so violently that currents were created in telegraph wires so great that many wires sparked and gave telegraph operators shocks.

‘Were a Carrington-class event to impact the Earth today, speculation holds that damage might occur to global power grids and electronics on a scale never yet experienced.’

Nasa’s aurora image was snapped in 106 over Thingvallavatn Lake in Iceland, a lake that ‘partly fills a fault’ dividing Earth’s large Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.





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