Last night, a large portion of the United States was granted the opportunity to see a sight that is quite rare, unless you live somewhere very North and very cold. Due to Earth being right in the path of a major Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun, the magnetic field of our planet was bombarded with radiation and particulates, compressing it to a high degree. As it ‘rebounded’ from this compressed state, the magnetic flux interacted with the atmosphere and its contents – leading to a spectacularly large display of the Aurora Borealis – Northern lights.
This particular even was so strong and so large that these “Northern” lights were visible across a large part of the globe – and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia! It wasn’t very strong in my area compared to others, but it was quite a sight to see the sky lit up all red across a large expanse.
I don’t have the equipment or a good location to get pictures of them myself, but here are links to some good collections:
The United Nations Day Aurora Borealis of 10/24/11 (Facebook)
I feel quite privileged to have been able to see such a spectacular display of God’s wonder. Not only that, but this is actually the second time that I have had the opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis from my hometown in Pennsylvania. Several years ago was my first experience with seeing them. This time, what we could see was a large, amorphous, shape-shifting splotch of red moving and shifting in the sky. The first time I got to see the lights was an orange ribbon-like streak across the sky that looked as if it was waving in the breeze.
It’s a pretty amazing world we live in, isn’t it?