The sun kind of burped yesterday, and sent gigatons (
or maybe definitely not hellatons) of material streaming our way – to Earth that is. There is an awesome video of it over at SpaceWeather.com. The particles, mainly electrons and protons in the sub-100-eV range, are expected to reach earth tomorrow (Aug. 3) and could give vigorous auroral activity. I am not sure that northern California is northern enough to see it, but who knows? Take pictures, someone!
Once, about six or seven years ago, on an airplane flight from Chicago to California, I was on the right side of the plane and stared for hours at the shimmering curtains of green and red and purple, slowly waving as if in a breeze. It was an amazing sight!
This has been an fairly quiet solar cycle, and we are now heading to a solar max in three years which is on track to be just over half as intense as the last one in 2001, and the lowest in over 100 years. Too bad, just when I got into amateur radio…