Even Earth’s skies were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year.
On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, as people adorned themselves with green clothing and infused their livers with green beer, Earth was experiencing the biggest geomagnetic storm of the last decade—leading to beautiful, widespread aurora around world.
Ongoing, right now, is a large geomagnetic storm. The storm has had a constant G2-G4 rating, Kp levels are in the 6-8 range and the solar wind power has been in the 3000GW + range for over 24 hours.
All of this means, it’s a great time for aurora hunting!
Last week Nathan helped run a tweet-chat about the aurora. Organised by Aurorasaurs (@TweetAurora), members of the public were able to ask questions about the aurora, citizen science and the Aurorasaurus project. Nathan answered questions ranging from “where can I see the aurora?” to “will climate change affect the aurora?”.
You can read more by searching for #aurorachat on Twitter (or clicking by viewing the Storify article here).
If you’ve been looking at the news recently, you may have read about a supersized sunspot which is still just about visible on the solar surface. The sunspot, named AR2192, is so huge that it was visible to the “naked eye” during the partial solar eclipse last week. (Please remember to never look directly at the Sun!) It is estimated to be around 14 times the size of the Earth – which makes it the largest sunspot since 1990.