Get out the tin foil, sun’s a-comin’

Okay. Listen very carefully. A hell of a solar storm is wrapping itself over the planet. Everyone needs to follow these important instructions:

1. Take off all your clothes.

2. Rub Elmer’s glue all over your body.

3. Wrap yourself in aluminum foil from head to toe. When you get to the head, you need to start wrapping the foil until you can make yourself a cone. A cone will act as an antenna for the radioactive impulses emanating from the sun. The charges will flow along all four sides of your body from the cone into the ground. In about three months, this will be a great place to plant strawberries, squash or watermelons as the ground becomes charged with radioactive particles.

4. Once the solar storm passes, carefully unwrap the aluminum foil from your body and take a long bath in a mixture of white vinegar and soap powder.

5. Enjoy living without your aluminum wrap.

This is your brain on drugs. No, wait it is radiation from the sun, or something or other.


Please don’t follow the above instructions. Someone would have to take you out into the desert or the forest and shoot you for being too stupid.

There is, however, a “space hurricane” as one story tells it. It is the most intense sun storm in almost a decade. The solar event is causing some flights over the poles to reroute due to the radiation and interference with electrical navigation and communication equipment. Then there is the aurora borealis.

The northern lights may be quite spectacular in some places due to the solar activity. Just how far south it might be seen is beyond my paygrade. But check out this story. Plus, this NOAA map shows the area of auroral activity worldwide and shows activity as far South as St. Louis, albeit not heavy activity. Theoretically, the lights can be seen anywhere north of the Equator, depending on the intensity of the solar activity and magnetic pole positioning. One story I read says the lights may be seen once or twice every 100 years south of the Tropic of Cancer, which runs along the middle of Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and near Key West in the Western Hemisphere.

I doubt we will see the northern lights here in Southeast Texas because, thankfully, we are due some heavy rain. I’d love to see the aurora borealis. But there are always a lot of spectacular sites one may see out there in the sky. I’ve spent more time than I can remember looking at eclipses, meteor showers, Halley’s, Hale-Bopp and the heavenly bodies viewed with both telescopes and without. All you have to do is look up. And like the story in the Chronicle says, all you have to do is look north for the aurora borealis and, hopefully, have a clear night.

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