Solar disturbances spike aurora activity across the globe

11/10/04

A spot on the sun is bursting with large flares and tremendous coronal mass ejections, sending charged solar particles to Earth. The waves of particles descending on the planet are responsible for the aurora displays that have been visible as far south as the Carolinas.

Aurora forecasters at the Geophysical Institute (GI) predict maximum aurora activity until Friday, Nov. 12, and possibly into the weekend. The aurora should be visible in regions far south of the Arctic, including most of the United States, if clear skies cooperate.

Region 0696, the portion of the sun responsible for the heightened aurora activity, began erupting Saturday, Nov. 6. By Nov. 7, people began witnessing the aurora throughout the country and around the world.

"Look for the aurora from a dark place with a view of the poleward horizon in half hour intervals throughout the night," said Aurora Forecaster and Professor Emeritus of Physics Charles Deehr. "The largest activity is expected at your local midnight."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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