The Sky is Falling! Tonight! ~ Beth Bartel

Via elephant journal
on Aug 3, 2010
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Auroras for All?

Behold! A coronal mass ejection is spewing tons of plasma straight towards Earth! Magnetic storm alert!

Okay, I just wanted to use all those cool, nerdy-sounding terms, but it is all true. Well, mostly.

NASA says there’s been an eruption on the Sun’s surface (not worrisome-ly unusual) that is sending charged gas (the plasma) our way. The expected result? Disturbances in our magnetic field that could lead to extra-special auroras. This means that those lucky enough to be at high latitudes may see particularly colorful and even shimmery late-night lights, and those of us at lower latitudes have a chance of seeing at least some sort of aurora, sans polar bears or penguins.

So, if your in the northern hemisphere, head outside sometime after dark—preferably around midnight—and look north. There’s no guarantee the aurora will be there, so if you don’t see anything, don’t blame us. Or NASA. But if you do, let us know.

The end of the world? Nah. Just a nice burst of energy from the Sun. Thanks, Sun, for all you do.

For more, check out NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory or National Geographic.


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