Watching the palm trees sway in the wind, listening to the ocean, and smelling the flowers in bloom during an unusually warm week in San Diego, I have almost forgotten the days of living in the freezing cold state known as Alaska, in the small town of Fairbanks. Bundling up for six months of long, cold, dark days is something I don’t miss. When I think of all the days I spent wrapped up in layers trying to keep my bones warm, I am now grateful to live in lovely Southern California. But once in a while I see an image of the spectacular light show known as the Aurora Borealis, and I want to put on a coat, hop on a plane and head north with a camera in hand, hoping to make it in time for the next light show.
The most recent northern lights display was sparked by an intense solar flare that erupted from the sun late Sunday, January 22. This caused a dazzling light display viewed by people around the world braving the freezing, sub zero temperatures.
Researchers have discovered that the auroral activity is cyclical with usually an eleven year cycle. The next peak of the light show is expected to be in 2013 with plenty of activity going on through 2012. So if you find that you aren’t able to hop on a plane for the next light show, be sure to take a look at Space.com or even Flickr.com for recent images as people around the world document the amazing light show.