This SDO image (AIA 193) shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere at 03:49 UT on Jan. 23, 2012... just 4 days after a previous strong CME that sparked aurora around the world on the 22nd. More geomagnetic activity is expected for the 24th.

Solar Storm Rocks Aurora Borealis; See the Flare Erupt

ICTMN Staff
1/24/12

The radiation storm that sent debris rocketing toward Earth on January 23 is giving aurora borealis watchers a stunning light show as far south as Scotland and England and promises to deliver more over the next few days as radiation and plasma glances off our planet's magnetic field. On this side of the pond, Canadian viewers will see a spectacular array of dancing lights as well.

The coronal mass ejection (CME) of January 23, as predicted, hit the magnetic field on January 24 at about 10 a.m., Spaceweather.com said.

The CME did not disrupt communications or the electrical grid as feared, but there was certainly a light show in the sky, with auroras “clearly visible” over Scotland and Northern England, Spaceweather.com said. Similar shows were expected above Canada and other northern climes, though the chances of the storm pushing the auroras farther south than usual were not very high because the Earth didn’t quite get a direct hit.

Such storms can impair the electrical power grid and hamper satellite communications, but the effects were not marked with this storm.

Here, some video of the solar flare as it shot out of the sun.

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