Friday, January 20, 2012

Video: Solar Flare Headed for Earth

Northern lights: Huge solar flare may trigger Saturday night show

Northern lights show this weekend? A big solar plasma wave is heading toward Earth, and may create Northern lights or aurora borealis display by Saturday night.

By / January 20, 2012
Sneak Preview? The aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky above the Takotna, Alaska last spring. A solar flare may generate a new northern light show this weekend.
AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen, FILE)

A powerful flare erupted from the sun Thursday (Jan. 19), unleashing a plasma wave that may supercharge the northern lights for skywatchers in high latitudes this weekend.
The solar flare occurred at about 11:30 am EST (1600 GMT) and touched off a massive solar explosion — known as a coronal mass ejection — aimed at Earth, space weather experts and officials said. The charged particles from the sun explosion should reach Earth by Saturday night (Jan. 21), and could amp up northern lights displays when they hit the upper atmosphere.
"Forecasters say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives during the late hours of Jan. 21st. High-latitude (and possibly middle-latitude) sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend," the skywatching website announced in an alert.


On Thursday, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured this colorful close-up video of a long-lasting M-class solar flare.
The eruption shot out of active region 1401, a large sunspot that’s been spitting flares about once a day since satellites saw it advancing onto the sun’s Earth-facing disk.
As seen in the new video, the latest flare was followed by a coronal mass ejection, or CME, that was aimed right at Earth.



Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < >
Electronic Mail - < >
  < >
Twitter: < >
Facebook: < >
Blog: < >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Public Transit:
  < >

No comments:

Post a Comment