BiPolar Seasonal Light Shows

I lived in Lincolnshire, England for the first 25 years of my life and never saw or even heard of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) ever appearing, as far as I remember, that far south of the Arctic Circle.  But here it is, from The Lincolnite

aurora1-charlesPhoto: Charles Simpson

 

Not to be outdone, even more spectacular shows appeared in our neck of the woods in the southern hemisphere.  In Tasmania to be precise, where such sightings are still fairly rare but increasingly not so.

Coincidentally, following a quiet spell, there has been a surge in Sunspot activity over the last two days, which, together with a direct hit on Earth by a quite mild CME (so mild that it was not reported as a Space Weather Alert, which I receive pretty much real-time by email whenever they are recorded, but was mentioned in today’s weather summary at Australia’s B0M site) is the likely cause of this phenomena.

Note: I am assuming the CME on 19 Dec. was a direct hit since I can’t find any information about it and it was not big enough to report with a warning but it is being mentioned in the forecast summary and its effects are being felt and seen.

We live in strange and changing times.

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2 thoughts on “BiPolar Seasonal Light Shows

    • There’s also a good description on the BoM site: http://www.sws.bom.gov.au/Space_Weather/3/1#cme It is good to know about this. Most people know about solar flares but the main danger to us is the plasma which often gets ejected during such events and makes its way outwards from the Sun. Most CMEs are not aimed in our direction and many are not sufficiently powerful to cause us great harm even if they were. But one day…

      Even the particle emissions from flares can seriously affect our terristrial communications gear.

      Just more tools in nature’s arsenal that could spoil our party.

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