Latest Issue of Science News


News

Solar storm

Solar flare sets off auroras around the Arctic Circle

Earth’s nearest star erupted late on January 22, belching out a solar flare. At the same time the sun launched a blast of hot gas known as a coronal mass ejection toward Earth.

A day later, when the particles slammed into the atmosphere, they set off auroras around the Arctic Circle. Fast-moving protons that came along for the ride also triggered a solar radiation storm, the biggest seen since the “Halloween storms” of October 2003.

Scientists expect such powerful solar blasts to become more common as the sun moves toward a predicted peak of activity in 2013.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.