Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow! (4th Aug)

totalgenius

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Burst sunspot could see Northern Lights over UK, US!

Astroboffins are warning that a mighty "eruption" of superhot plasma has been blasted out of the Sun directly at the Earth. The plasma cloud is expected to reach Earth beginning tomorrow, possibly causing strange phenomena - including a mighty geomagnetic storm which could see the Northern Lights aurorae extend as far south as Blighty or the northern USA.

sun_eruption.jpg



Duck's eye view of the plasma shotgun blast​


According to boffins analysing results delivered from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite, Sunday saw a massive convulsion involving almost the entire face of the Sun facing Earth. The event was apparently centred on Sunspot 1092, a huge solar pimple so large as to be visible without the aid of a telescope.

It appears that the sunspot may have triggered a huge "coronal mass ejection" in which huge amounts of superhot plasma were spurted towards Earth accompanied by solar flares, tsunamis, magnetic filaments and other sun-wracking upsets across half the sun's surface.

"This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th," says astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."

Normally a blast of radiation like this could be expected to wipe out much of the human race, but fortunately we are protected by the Earth's magnetic field. Instead the deadly solar plasma is expected to stream down the planetary field lines towards the poles, crashing into oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere and so lighting them up to form aurorae - the so-called Northern Lights.

Golub and his colleagues believe that the aurorae may be so intense as to be visible from the northern United States and other countries such as the UK which are normally too far south to see the Lights.

"We got a beautiful view of this eruption," enthuses the astronomer. "And there might be more beautiful views to come, if it triggers aurorae."

The Sun's activity generally rises and falls on an 11-year cycle: the last peak occurred in 2001, but since then the star has been going through an unusually prolonged calm spell. We've been overdue for some more action for several years, and Golub and his colleagues consider that Sunday's outburst may be a sign that the Sun is "waking up".





By Lewis Page
Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow! ? The Register
 

eon

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i have seen the aurora once before about 10 years ago and i can tell you its amazing
 

Ratts

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nice post TG , very interesting

looks like i wont be getting an early night tonight then ...
 

buzzer

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and as usual.
its cloudy here in scotland...:Mad2::Mad2::Mad2:
 

buzzer

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just seen the forecast....
clouds clouds clouds clouds...
:shakeshead::shakeshead::shakeshead:
 

nozzer

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Who knows !
Wasn't everone gazing up at the sky for one of these solar events at the start of "Day of the Triffids" ?

Must remember to lock the cactus up tonight :FRIGHT:
 

buzzer

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half past one and still cloudy as fook.....
must admit i'm a ittle bit gutted..........:grayno::grayno::grayno::grayno:
 

buzzer

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we can only hope......:nopity::nopity::nopity:
 

stevie1ball

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Great post TG really interesting and informative.

Can't believe such a cloudy wet night last night so we saw nothing, let hope it's better this eve. :Clap:
 

Evastar

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It was sunny here for a while earlier, but is starting to cloud over again now :(

Did anyone get to see the northern lights last night?
 

snp-g

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just raining, sunny, raining, sunny.... and so on, no change from the norm really.

:) :)
 
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