Return of the Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis, by Wiciwato (Yahoo Flickr compilation) - July-August 2010

Aurora Borealis, by Wiciwato (Yahoo Flickr compilation) - July-August 2010 - notice the Big Dipper in the photo?

A storm on the Sun last Sunday launched a wave of cosmic particles toward the Earth — the particles whose striking of the upper atmosphere causes ions to glow, creating the Northern Lights.

And so the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, returned to the planet in spectacular fashion this week, after more than a year of relative solar dormancy.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, outstanding displays of the lights may continue through this week.

Yahoo’s Flicker editors put together a collection of photos from Flickr, from which the photo above is taken — there are a lot more spectacular shots there.

Resources, more:

Pictures of the coronal mass ejection from the Sun dazzle, too:

Caption from NASA: 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 (SDO) 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. Credit: NASA/SDO

Help someone else find the sky:

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2 Responses to Return of the Aurora Borealis

  1. […] Return of the Aurora Borealis « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub […]


  2. thomas says:

    I saw the Aurora Borealis on a flight to Europe in 1970 or 1971. The pilot made the announcement that we would see something spectacular if we looked out the left side of the plane (a jumbo jet). The cabin lights were turned out. Everyone looked out the windows in awe. It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life. My new wife and our baby were on the plane with me. It was an epiphany.


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