Hold on to your hats, there's a solar storm a comin'. The sun is spewing fire! Well, it's spewing "solar flare," which is equally cool. Solar flare is an explosion in the sun's atmosphere that releases a crazy amount of energy and all types of radiation.
People are psyched because this solar flare will enhance the Northern Lights, a naturally occurring atmospheric light show that's visible in the Northeast. (Sorry, Southerners!) The show this year could be out-of-this-world. Time to party!
Unfortunately it's not all pretty flashes and magical moments under the stars. Increased solar activity can mean problems with cell phones and electrical grids. Ack!
Geomagnetic disturbances are forecasted during the solar storm. Satellites could be damaged, black-outs are a threat, and radio ways will be interrupted. So if you were planning on finally building that ham radio this weekend, you might want to put it off.
(There's an issue here that no one's really talking about. How will the increase in atmospheric ions affect my hair? Inquiring minds want to know ... should we go straight or curly this weekend?)
Bottom line is that if you're in the Northeast, own a lawn chair, and can find a spot out in the country, then you're in for a treat. It's time to party. I wish I could be there to celebrate this awesomeness. First I miss thundersnow, now this. The Northern Lights' solar flare-enhanced show starts Thursday night and runs through the weekend.
If one can be a fan of weather, then that's me. I appreciate the beauty and the destruction. If you're able to see the Northern Lights and your Internet signal isn't interrupted, leave a comment! I'm so jealous.
Photo via NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr