Solar Tsunami Causes Spectacular Northern Lights

The ‘solar tsunami’ which sent waves of extra radiation into the earth’s atmosphere has amplified the effect of the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights caused by the solar tsunami over Lake Superior on August 4. Photo: Shawn Malone/Lake Superior Photo

The ‘solar tsunami’ which sent waves of extra radiation into the earth’s atmosphere last week has amplified the effect of the Northern Lights over Michigan’s Lake Superior.

46-year old female photographer Shawn Malone observed the phenomenon for two days last week (August 3-4), using 20 minutes exposures to capture the full array of colours.

She photographed the effects of the series of massive explosions on the Sun that caused the Northern Lights to appear brighter than usual.

Moonrise taken from the shores of Lake Superior on August 3rd. Photo: Shawn Malone/Lake Superior Photo

“We do photograph the Northern Lights here in Michigan and this is one of the best places below the 48th Parallel to do so,” she said.

“I have lived here for ten years and the lights are always wonderful and this was nice when it was here and it was pretty. It would come and go in waves around midnight and that was when I photographed the supercharged lights.”

“But, I have to say that the spectacular event that we were led to believe by the media unfortunately didn’t materialise for me at least,” she added.

Armed with her Canon 5D Mark 2 camera, Mrs Shawn still feels lucky to live in such a spot where she can photograph the compressed and charged gases that cause the Aurora Borealis.

A panorama taken from the shores of Lake Superior on August 3. Photo: Shawn Malone/Lake Superior Photo

“There is so little light pollution over Lake Superior and the area surrounding Marquette, it makes for a wonder and clear setting,” said Mrs Malone.

Scientists last week noticed two minor solar storms which shots superheated plasma in the direction of The Earth.  The plasma, which is ionised atoms, can cause electrical systems and damage orbiting satellites on the Earth.

Scientists are braced for increased solar activity over the coming five years as The Sun ‘wakes up’ from an estimated decade long slumber. [Lake Superior Photo via Daily Mail (UK), Daily Telegraph (UK)]

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