he video: Last week, a massive solar storm erupted from the sun's surface and passed just north of Earth, emitting powerful streams of radiation that caused several airlines to divert flights from around the North Pole. What NASA experts called the largest solar storm since 2005 whizzed by our planet at several million miles per hour. Radiation from its flares collided with ions in our atmosphere with spectacular results, treating those in northerly nations like Norway and Canada to some "especially luminous" displays of aurora borealis, a.k.a. the Northern Lights. (Watch a video below.)
The reaction: "Astounding," says the Huffington Post. This footage from Norway really shows the aurora's "shimmering, watery ripples" in fine detail. And this isn't even the "real light show," says Carl Franzen at Talking Points Memo. The sun is revving up for its "solar maximum" in 2013 and 2014, when there will be an 11-year peak in solar activity. Much "fiercer" solar storms are coming, and with them, more "spectacular displays of the Northern Lights." Take a look:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Mad Men recap: 'A Day's Work'
- The sexual politics of Game of Thrones just got enormously worse
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Aereo at the Supreme Court: No matter what, broadcasters lose
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 10 things you need to know today: April 21, 2014
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- The case for killing law school
- The hidden reason for the student loan crisis
Subscribe to the Week