News Feb 01, 2012

Aurora Activity to Increase Throughout 2012 and Peak in2013

Sequels to the northern lights, like last week’s polar sky shows, are likely headed for Earth on a once-a-month basis for the next year or two, solar physics experts say.

A strong solar storm grazed Earth’s magnetic field last week, delivering beautiful auroral lights to the polar skies. The S3-class storm, on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scale that rises from S1 to S5, represents the opening salvo in the coming peak of outbursts over the next year or so.

“The solar cycle is increasing, and so we are going to get more storms,” says University of Michigan space weather expert Tamas Gombosi. “Once an eruption happens on the sun, even the biggest ones, we’ll have at least a day’s warning.”

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