|Southern Lights in the sky|
Yesterday afternoon it was reported on the Nasa website that the sun was effected by a massive solar storm resulting in a solar flare heading our way.
Due to New Zealand's close proximity to the bottom of the southern hemisphere we could have been in for a show, not that we could see anything in Nelson last night as it rained all night. I will do a hunt today and see if any images pop up from areas not clagged in by rain.
A chance to see the Southern Lights does not come along very often so hopefully someone got to see it. We are still a few years out from the next solar maximum in this current cycle so we ought to be expecting more of this. Hit the read more to view the post from NASA and get access to more articles on the Solar Flare activity. This kind of solar activity as we head towards the solar maximum in 2012 is going to have a major impact on us NASA warned earlier in the year, with the potential damage to take decades to recover from.
The image above is from the Nasa website presumably taken with the fantastic new Solar Observatory they have whizzing around up there.
From the nasa website
On August 1st, almost the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. There was a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. This extreme ultraviolet snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun's northern hemisphere in mid-eruption. Different colors in the image represent different gas temperatures ranging from ~1 to 2 million degrees K.
Oh hold on NASA, if the solar cycle is 11 years long as you just stated and the last cycle's solar maximum occurred in 2001, isn't the next solar maximum due in 2012 not 2013? 2001 + 11 = 2012 doesn't it?