Aurora Borealis on the move. What does this mean?

Lots of folks have been posting wonderful photos of the aurora borealis as far south as northern France - some even saying they’ve seen the pretty lights in Florida.
Missed it myself.
But the reason it’s normally seen much further north is because that is where the Earth’s magnetosphere is weakest there - that phenomenon that PROTECTS us from solar radiation.
I’m not a scientist but it seems to me that this pretty manifestation is NOT good news.
Who knows? What do you think? Is this yet another signal that we’re in trouble or was it a one off BIG solar flare event.
I’m reminded of the Nicolas Cage disaster, “Knowing”.

The principal reason is increased solar activity.

This is the current forecast/situation.


Nope! (well, not much…)

This. The sun’s output fluctuates on an 11-year cycle - we are currently in “solar cycle 25” (measured from when recordings began in 1755, not in the lifetime of the sun, obvs. )

The Sun is heading towards “solar maximum” in 2025 - then it will tail off again over the following 5 years.

More solar activity (sunspots, flares, coronal mass ejections) means more particles hitting the top of the Earth’s atmosphere and therefore a more vivid and widespread Aurora.

It’s nothing to do with climate change which is a purely Earth-bound phenomenon.

Solar emissions do have the potential to disrupt satellite comms and GPS as well as power networks, but otherwise the magnetosphere protects us from them.

It’s the invasion of the Zillons from the Planet Thaarg that you really want to worry about. :smiley:


Only if there are no small dogs to hand.


At which point the climate scientist will rejoice that their planning worked :rofl:

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True, they will eat the small dogs first giving you time to run away.

My little sister in central west NSW (Oz) had a gorgeous pink bit!

What’s more to say ?:wink::rofl: That would be the Aurora Australis


Only another 4.5 billion years until the heat death of the universe, so make hay whilst the Sun ejects coronal mass.

HHGTTG reference :slight_smile:

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That’s likely to be a good bit longer than 4.5 billion years, the Earth itself is due to be around for another 7.5 billion years before the Sun enters it’s Red Giant phase ad expands to encompass the Earth’s orbit.

However the time scale for the Earth to remain habitable is somewhat shorter - perhaps as little as a billion years.

To be fair, although simple life emerged as much as 3.5 billion years ago, complex multicellular life has only existed for about 1.5 billion and most of the interesting stuff has happened in the last 500 million or so, which means that there is more than enough time for the Earth to re-run evolution and come up with intelligent life again even if we really screw up.

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Again? :smiley:


That’s the bit that amuses me. Again?? :rofl: :rofl:

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Snap :rofl:

Humans are intelligent enough, it’s greed which tends to let us down.

My wife went and checked at approx 01h00 this morning and said the sky was a bit “greenish” - this was in the Gironde.

It was 01h00 - I didn’t go and check!!!

Too much information!

so sorry we missed this… we’re shattered , but will try to stay awake for tonight… :crossed_fingers:

Photo taken by a friend yesterday evening Vezelay Burgundy.


I wonder if anyone (based in France) was lucky enough to see anything special during this Saturday/Sunday night? I was briefly up at 1am and 3am this morning and looked hopefully northwards, there being good visibility and no light pollution. Sadly nothing whatsoever to see in the form of Aurora Borealis…

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