Solar Storms Continue, Northern Lights Increase

    March 9, 2012
    Chris Gabbard
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A “strong geomagnetic storm” is now underway, and is giving us earthlings a dazzling display of an intensified aurora borealis.

These storms started from sunspots sited on Tuesday followed by a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), effecting our part of the solar system by Thurday.

Originally, scientists and space observers, were not impressed with the level of geomagnetic interference the solar flares caused, but they are now seeing continued activity in the wake of the CME. Today’s forecast calls for a 40% chance of a X-class solar flare. X-class flares are the highest and carry the most significant chance of causing communication interruptions.

The storms are not seen as a threat to people, but they can cause problems with radio and satellite communications across the world. So far the interruptions have been minor, with some blackouts to ham radios and minor airline delays, but scientists are keeping a close watch to determine if there is more to come.

These brilliant images from NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory show the most recent solar flare activity under different light spectrums.


These photos, submitted by David Tremblay to spaceweather.com, show the sunspots observed with the naked eye during a dust storm in Alto, New Mexico.



The Northern Lights may be visible as far south as Ireland