by Phillip Manning ~ January 8th, 2014
This week, solar activity could mean a very active aurora, but clouds are likely to obscure views of the lights in the Upper Valley. According to NASA, early Tuesday saw the first massive “X-class” solar flare of the year. X-Class flares are strong enough that they could interfere with GPS devices. Since the event occurred on the side of the sun facing Earth, that will likely mean quite a light show as particles from the flare get to Earth on Thursday and Friday. UAF’s Geophysical Institute lists Thursday and Friday as nights for high aurora activity, with activity from Barrow to Bethel.
Unfortunately, the National Weather Service is currently calling for clouds on both nights in the Susitna Valley. If it does clear up, many will likely be looking skyward for one of Alaska’s signature winter phenomena.