In the UK this week many people have been getting a bird's eye view of the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. When night skies are clear these lights can occasionally be seen from the northern parts of Scotland. This week they have been clearly seen as far south as Doncaster. This is unusual to say the least.
Monday January 23, 2012, was perfect night sky Northern Lights viewing in many northern parts of the UK. If you missed them last night fear not they will still be around tonight. There will however be a problem for many of us. The good old British weather. Cloudy skies, rain and snow are liable to prevent many people getting a clear view of the Northern Lights.
The heavens though are offering more celestial wonders this week as a solar storm heads for earth.
The Sun has experienced its biggest explosion for six years and the solar storm is the result. An early solar flare on Sunday gave Northern Lights watchers a glimpse of things to come. The Northern Lights will be on display in truly spectacular form thanks to the solar storm. There is a catch though. There are fears that the radiation storm could also disrupt communications, damage satellites and cause power grid outages at northern latitudes. Currently billions of tons of charged particles are travelling towards the earth at speeds of up to 1400 miles per second. This is due to the early solar flare. There have been claims that aircraft in the very northern parts of the world could be affected..
SkyNews was told by Astronomer Dr David Whitehouse that,
Beautiful? Yes. A wee bit worrying? Yes again. Enjoy though, it could be later than we think.