Eerie waves of green light swirl over the earth's southern pole in this Sept. 17 video captured by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
The StormWatch 7 blog has been on something of a International Space Station kick lately. Why stop now when the footage from the world's sickest ride is so consistently awesome?
Look below for proof: This weird, gripping shot of earth was recorded on Sept. 17, 2011, as a solar storm battered the atmosphere with ionizing particles. Waves of Ecto-Cooler-green luminescence shimmer over the surface of the planet like an iridescent oil slick. The video was shot while the Space Station passed south of Madagascar to north of Australia over the Indian Ocean, thus these lights are known as the Aurora Australis.
The sun has been frantically blatting with these plasma outbursts over the past 36 hours, an indication that it is ascending toward the peak of its 11-year solar cycle. Yesterday, the star unleashed one of the largest class of flares, an X-1, with a corresponding strong radio blackout. Here's what that looked like. NOAA's Space Weather Prediction agency is advising heavenly forecasters that more solar ejections could be in the forecast from the cursed Region 1302:
Activity from this location can also increase the population of energetic protons near Earth (NOAA Solar Radiation Storm Scale), but these enhancements would be slow rising. This region is just now rotating into view, so the potential for continued activity is certainly there. Stay tuned for updates.