In the News: Stormy Space - Northern Lights

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Stormy Space - Northern Lights

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During this current period of increased solar activity, leading to a solar maximum (a period of incredible storm activity and flares from the sun), these atmospheric disturbances are clearly seen.

A recent fantastic display of the auroras was caused, say scientists, by a massive solar storm. An explosive flare from an active sunspot sent a stream of charged particles toward the earth at 250 miles per second, followed by more flares. The beautiful colors and undulations of the auroras were the result of reactions among atoms and molecules in the earth's atmosphere (Andrew Hough and Sarah Kelley, "Spectacular Northern Lights Display Pictured After Violent Space Storm,", Sept. 9, 2010).