Look to the north!

The BBC points to the possibility, given clear skies, of further displays of the Aurora Borealis being visible from Northern Ireland following a series of large solar flares – including a level X2.2 flare on the 15th, the most powerful since 2006.  But, as the Professor and a separate BBC report notes, there are some practical concerns.

The China Meteorological Administration reported that the solar flare caused “sudden ionospheric disturbances” in the atmosphere above China and jammed short-wave radio communications in the southern part of the country.

The CMA warned there was a high probability that large solar flares would appear over the next three days, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Here’s SDO’s Pick of the Week video of that X2.2 flare seen in extreme ultraviolet – complete with faint edge of a “halo” coronal mass ejection as it races away from the Sun. The video covers about 11 hours.

And Little SDOHMI helpfully provides a video of observations of the X2.2 flare on the 15th from two of the three instruments onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory.  Video Credit: NASA SDO / Lockheed Martin / Stanford University