Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Aurora alert for tonight

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitSeptember 27, 2011 12:11 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

I just got word from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center that Saturday's solar activity blew a wave of subatomic particles from the Sun that is reaching the Earth now. They rated this as a strong G3 event, which means it's not dangerous per se but should spark aurorae at high latitudes. If you live at very north or very south (like southern Argentina, Australia, and so on) latitudes, you should get out after dark and take a look. You can also check the SWPC's aurora map to check your odds of seeing anything. Here's the map for the northern hemisphere as of today at 21:00 UT (5:00 p.m. Eastern US time):


The fringes reach as far south as where I am in Colorado, so if it clears up later I'll take a look. And check back at the SWPC page; I expect the effects here on Earth will get stronger for a while before dying off. Again, we're in no danger here, but hopefully we'll get a nice light show out of this.

Related posts: - Awesome X2-class solar flare caught by SDO - NASA’s guide to solar flares - Southern lights greet ISS and Atlantis

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In