Solar Flare From Sun Leads To Solar Storm On Earth, Northern Lights

Folks in Washington State’s Methow Valley saw the northern lights on Wednesday March 7, 2012.

This is a shot I that Ed posted on one of my favorite web sites out there,

The amount of solar energy hitting earth should be increasing early Thursday morning and peak during the day on Thursday–while the sun’s up in the Pacific Northwest.

So the odds of seeing the northern lights over Oregon are slim. But never say never!


This is a shot of the solar flare that left the sun bound for earth about a day ago. Scientists say we’ll get more of a glancing blow than a direct hit from this blast of solar energy. Still, it could turn out to be earth’s biggest solar storm in five years!

Usually these storm’s don’t cause major problems but in rare instances they can. Issues could include damage to satellites (they control navigation, GPS, radio and some TV signals, etc., etc.!). And sometimes power grids are damaged–but that’s usually during more powerful storms than expected this time. The extra energy leaves airliners flying over the poles with no radio communication so many airlines are taking a different route for now.

We’ll see what happens. And if the storm is ongoing Thursday night, we’ll keep our eyes out for a slight change of northern lights even in the Pacific Northwest.



  1. says

    Hi Bruce, great story! I LOVE that Methow Valley photo. Did you see the one I caught in Trout Lake? I sent it in but do not know if it got shared. I wanted to make sure you saw it :-))) so here is a link to a blog post with a couple photos with Lenticulars, Aurora, Mount Adams, stars, and lake reflections!

    (can you tell I was EXCITED???)

    one of the shots was on my flickr site at Starlisa too and has been viewed over 1000 times… fun stuff!

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