G1, X Flare … could it be an Aurora Borealis Bingo?
August 3, 2011
This is a little technical, but you can boil it down to say “We might well see some northern lights in the next few days!”
Space Weather says that a category G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm is expected on August 5th due to the effects of a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) observed early on 02 August 2nd. In plain English, that means we might see the Northern Lights on the 5th! Don’t get too terribly excited though – according to NOAA Space Weather who puts out the email alerts that I subscribe to, G1 is the lowest level of a scale that goes up to 5. Don’t get depressed either though, as they say that during G1 activity, the Aurora Borealis is commonly visible at high latitudes (northern Michigan and Maine)!
I posted the above on Facebook, and my friend Shawn Malone (who took the photo above) told me that it is also possible for an x flare this week producing an EARTHWARD directed flare that would hit earth probably some time next week which would produce a northern lights display to remember! There was a brief x flare on July 29 – read about it here and see a video from NASA here. The displays in February 2011 were produced by a powerful x flare…
You can see & purchase lots more of Shawn’s photos of northern lights through LakeSuperiorPhoto.com and also check out her cool Northern Lights – square format album!
Michigan in Pictures has LOTS more pictures and information about the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).