More Northern Lights Coming?

Northern lights and silhouette of woman with raised up arms

If you didn’t catch the breathtaking northern lights display earlier this month, there’s a chance you might get to see it again in the next few weeks.

A significant area on the sun is currently releasing large amounts of plasma and magnetic energy, and these powerful solar flares are expected to hit our planet once more. Just this month, the most intense geomagnetic storm in the last 20 years struck Earth, offering Canadians (and much of the Northern Hemisphere) a stunning show of the aurora borealis.

Now, the same sunspot is making a comeback after crossing the sun’s far side, and it could lead to some intense solar flares in the near future. Solar flares are ranked by their intensity, with B-class flares being the mildest and X-class the most intense. This month, solar active region AR 13664 was responsible for 12 X-class solar flares over six days, causing a G5 magnetic storm on Earth — the strongest since 2003.


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