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The aurora as seen looking down from space

The aurora over the U.S. on May 11, 2024
Click for original image.

NOAA on May 13, 2024 released a set of eight images taken by its fleet of JPSS weather satellites, showing the strong Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights that were activated over the May 11th weekend due to several very strong solar flares on the Sun and sent a geomagnetic storm at the Earth.

One of those images, reduced to post here, is to the right. You can see the eastern coast of the United States, outlined by city lights, with a band of aurora cutting across the northern half and reaching south below the Great Lakes. The other seven images are available at the link above.

The geomagnetic storm was the strongest produced by the Sun in more than two decades, since 2003. That storm occurred during solar maximum, as did the May 11th this past weekend. However, the Sun experienced another solar maximum in-between, in 2014, which produced few such storms, and none as strong.

I want to add that despite the screams of panic prior to the arrival of this storm, its arrival produced only minor disturbances in the world’s electrical grid, and in fact was proof positive that the many decades of work that electrical companies have devoted to protecting the grid from such storms has paid off. It is very unlikely any major storm from the Sun can harm that grid in the future, unless of course we get lazy and stop maintaining it.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Robin K Juhl

    “…unless of course we get lazy and stop maintaining it.”

    Please, stop giving our rulers even more stupid ideas to add to those they’re already working on!

  • Rocket J Squirrel

    But…but the Carrington Effect and EMP! It blow up the power grid and we’ll be back int he middle ages! People have written hundreds of books on Amazon about it!!


  • F

    Robin K Juhl,

    “Ask, and we shall deceive . . .”

  • John

    I bet the sun still has a few tricks up its sleeve, maybe it can still wipe us back to the stone age. But it seems we learned how to ground our stuff too. Wouldn’t count on us maintaining anything though, ain’t nobody got time or money for that.

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