Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Eyes To The Sky: Aurora Should Be Bright
A solar flare that erupted Saturday could produce some good aurora the next few nights, according to forecasters at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.
FAIRBANKS — A solar flare that erupted Saturday could produce some good aurora the next few nights, according to forecasters at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute.
“Right now it’s as high as it gets,” physics professor Chuck Deehr at the Geophysical Institute said Monday afternoon. “It’s difficult to tell how long of a run it’s going to be.”
Europe reported good aurora viewing Monday, which should translate to good viewing, he said.
“Sometimes when you get the first shock like this you get a big run and then it’s off for a night and then it’s on for a night,” Deehr said.
With more sunspot activity occurring, Fairbanksans should see more aurora this year than the past few winters, Deehr said.
“There are a lot more sunspots now and they’re active,” he said. “We’re on the upswing. We’re coming up on the ascending part of the solar cycle. We should expect in the next year to have a lot more active aurora.
“We had such a long minimum in this cycle,” Deehr said. “It’s been pretty quiet for a long time. It was a four-year minimum.”
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.