Earlier in the year, in February 2011, there were a series of large solar flares that reached the Earth, At least three of these large flares, the largest for at least the last four years, not only reached the Earth, but produced some of the best sightings of the Northern Lights seen in the United Kingdom for many years.
As ever, the UK is far from the best place to see these wonders of the northern sky. Among the best places, and one of those traditionally sought by aurora watchers, remains Tromso in northern Norway. Those living further south than the UK may never have seen the effects that a solar flare can have on the Earth, while those in the UK will almost certainly never have seen the full glory of the Northern Lights as they can been seen in the far north.
Almost impossible to film well, though managed by a documentary team with the adorable Joanna Lumley recently, these magnificent effects are best captured by a stills camera so that the lighting can be enhanced in the same sort of way as astronomical pictures of distant objects in the night sky are colour enhanced. Thankfully, Ole Christian Salomonsen who hails from Tromso himself, has done all this hard work on our behalf and presented us with the opportunity to see for ourselves the wonders that the aurora can bring.
Despite a rather cheesy sound track, that more than one viewer has referred to as being like the soundtrack for a porn film, Ole put together a magnificent film of the Norther Lights so that we can all enjoy the wonders he can see in his home are. Changed Times is delighted to be able to offer you the chance to see for yourself just how much a storm on the surface of the Sun, 93 million miles away, can effect ourselves here on Earth.
Take a look at the film for yourselves and please feel free to send your comments to the Letters Pages. If you like this sort of visual demonstration of science in action, then Changed Times will try to include them in more articles in the future.
- Solar Flare (changedtimes.wordpress.com)
- Northern Lights May Dazzle Tonight Despite a Bright Moon (livescience.com)
- Northern Lights May Dazzle Tonight Despite a Bright Moon (space.com)
- Solar Flare Won’t Bring About Mayan Apocalypse, NASA Says (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- No, A Giant Solar Flare Will Not Destroy The Earth In 2012 (forbes.com)
- NASA- Threat of killer Solar Flare – No Threat? (geehollyinuni.wordpress.com)
- Skywatcher Delivers Stunning Image of Northern Lights (space.com)