Yesterday I read an article which reported that our sun was going to experience the largest solar flare ever in more than a 100 years.
While solar flares are apparently très normal on the surface of the sun, this one was apparently so large that it caused a huge radioactive shower (mostly deflected by Earth’s atmosphere) and disrupted communications and power grids on Earth. While I pooh-poohed the apocalyptic-sounding news yesterday morning over breakfast, the weird glitch in my Internet the whole of yesterday afternoon (which may or may not have something to do with the solar flare but is a bit too coincidental for me to ignore) has made me extremely sorry I dared to pooh-pooh the giant brains over at NASA.
I really should stop being so distrustful of theoretical science.
But anyway, just because I’m thoughtful like that, here’s a picture of what a solar flare looks like:
To my untrained eye and ridiculously non-Scientific brain, this looks kind of like something you’d see in a movie! Like in Star Trek. Yeees.“Live long and Prosper.”
Here’s one that’s a lot more terrifying:
This is mostly terrifying because 1) this looks more realistic than the picture above, which -let’s face it- looks pretty in a really dreamy way while this one looks positively demonic and filled with evil intent, and 2) I’m somewhat pyrophobic, and evidently, solar flares are pretty much glorified nuclear explosions ..so you can see why this might not sit very well with me .. or well, anyone else. And lookit, in the picture Earth is that tiny cute blue dot that looks like it’s about to be swallowed whole, even though I know in reality Earth is like about a bazillion miles away from the sun. Duh.
One can never be too prepared. Time to stock up on essentials in case of any unforeseeable major catastrophes!
Okay, in all seriousness, the only thing that really kind of upsets me about all these outer space shenanigans – apart from the fact that it’s mind-bogglingly scary – is that I was not in the Northern hemisphere at the exact moment it happened because I REALLY WANTED TO SEE THE ‘NORTHERN LIGHTS’ DISPLAY THE SOLAR FLARE CAUSED. Apparently, the lights were so bright that you could even read a newspaper by its glare!
OMG IS THIS TRUE? I love stuff like this! I want to read a newspaper by the glare of this ginormous solar-flare-induced Northern Lights display! Now I’m really upset. Trust the equator to not be positioned in a way that can see cool stuff like this. The universe should have thrown us a bone – just a teensy weensy little glimmer of swirls, or the faintest of shiny lights? I mean, I’m not exactly asking for the full show, but what about a small TWINKLE? A TWINGE of a something? A FLASH?
In the end, I suppose there’s a reason they call it Northern Lights and not the Equator Lights. 😦