Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Northern Lights Coming to Southernmost Point?

According to an article in the latest issue of Wired Magazine, the Sun is entering a more volatile period, characterized by "solar windstorms" - sunspots that bubble and send plumes of "electrons, protons, and heavier ions toward Earth at nearly the speed of light." (The photo shows the sun "flaring")

Periods of higher sun storm activity occur roughly every 11 years and can cause problems with electrical grids, television broadcasting, and satellite communication.

The peak activity from this storm is predicted for 2012.

Interestingly, the article notes:
"Auroras occur when waves of charged particles light up gases in the upper atmosphere. As more particles stream in, the so-called aurora oval grows, bringing the "northern lights" as far south as Key West."
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy when you go scientific Cayo Dave. It is awesome!