Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Spectacular hot spot

Scientists using NASA's Solar Dynamics observatory saw that last Sunday our Sun ejected a massive spurt of super-hot plasma directly toward Earth; normally such a large ejaculation of radiation like this would wipe life on Earth out entirely however luckily for us (and our ancestors) we are protected by the magnetosphere which is a magnetic field generated by our planet's iron core.

So instead of a mass extinction we should expect one almighty magnetic storm in the upper atmosphere and if we're lucky we may even see that radiation smashing into molecules of Nitrogen and Oxygen creating a light show as far South as the UK and Northern USA; normally this show (called the "Northern Lights") is reserved for lucky viewers in the extreme North or extreme South (where I suppose it must be called the "Southern lights"?)

What do we bet that it's cloudy here in the UK :(


Lisa said...

Oh, I only read this a couple of says ago and just presumed that we wouldn't see it here - now we'll just have to "pray" for clear skies.

Steve Borthwick said...

Spent ages gazing at our light polluted sky last night, not a sausage!