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The Aurora Borealis will soon be back

February 06, 2012 05:00 PM | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Are we there yet?” asks the impatient youngster on a family vacation. And that’s the same question posed by the world’s aurora-watchers waiting for the current solar cycle to reach its peak.

Well, we’re almost there: Sunspot cycle number 24 is heating up. Two weeks ago, the strongest solar storm in years sent a shotgun blast of broken atom fragments in our general direction, and we got grazed enough to have had major displays not too far north of us. The Northern Lights also increase around the Equinoxes, when Earth and its magnetic field are sideways to the Sun. So the trigger may be primed just a few weeks from now, in March and April, for one of Nature’s greatest spectacles.

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