Tuesday marked the second largest solar flare to hit Earth since 2006, which has in turn sparked a solar storm that is headed for Earth.
Being a fanatic of the sights and sounds around us, we couldn’t help but dig into the articles surrounding these solar flares to learn how they work, and how we see the beautiful images above us.
In an article found on National Geographic’s website, it explains the phenomenon surrounding solar storms. The sun has an activity cycle, much like hurricane season, says Tom Bogdan, director of the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center. After hibernating for four or five years, the sun began waking up about a year ago. Solar flares are explosions in the sun’s atmosphere, which releases a burst of energy and charged particles into the solar system and produce x-rays and sometimes gamma rays. When these solar flares reach Earth, it results in a solar storm, which can disrupt power grids, radio communications and GPS systems. Solar storms also create beautiful aurora borealis displays, or better known as the Northern Lights. People in the northern part of North America should check the night sky for possible extra vibrant displays of aurora borealis over the next few days.
To read the entire article and to view more spectacular pictures of aurora borealis click here.