Solar Flare Produces Magnificent Northern Lights Skip to content

Solar Flare Produces Magnificent Northern Lights

Highly active aurorae displays are forecast to be visible in regions further south than from those they are normally visible. According to current forecasts, the northern lights will even be visible in the United Kingdom, mbl.is reports.

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Northern lights in Breiðdalsvík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The X5-class of the current solar flare is the largest that has been measured in 5 years, but far from being the largest in history. A solar event measuring X40 to X45 was detected on November 4, 2003.

Chairman of the Astronomical Association in Seltjarnarnes Sævar Helgi Bragason told mbl.is that larger solar flares can be expected in the coming years due to heightened solar activity.

Sævar Helgi has downplayed warnings issued yesterday concerning potential effects of the solar flare.

“The event might have minor effects on satellites, causing possible shortages in their operations but I suspect measures have been taken to prevent that. We might see disruption in communications around the polar regions but it is unlikely to cause severe disruptions. If the coronal mass ejection strikes, which is very likely, we will see a magnificent display of northern lights. The size of the coronal mass ejection depends on the strength of the solar flare. We can expect an outburst of colorful northern lights, very green, purple and red, that might even stretch further south.”

All is quiet in the magnetic field frontiers as we speak, but when the CME enters the Earth’s atmosphere later today or tonight, we might see substantial changes in the graphs from the Leirvogur Magnetic Observatory.

Click here to learn about solar flares, here to see the CME forecast track, here for up to date information on the CME effects from the solar flare and here to read about solar flares in Icelandic.

JB

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