Press release archive: 2000

The number of sunspots is at maximum - magnificent displays of northern lights expected for 2000-2001

20.10.2000 12:00

The 11-year sunspot cycle has reached its maximum phase and the number of sunspots is high. This means that the activity of the Sun is at greatest.
Sun is emanating electromagnetic radiation and particles more than normally. When the Earth is bombarded by solar particles, great magnetic storms and northern lights follow.

Extraordinary violent solar events have occurred during this year several times: April 6-7, July 15-16, August 12-13, and September 18-19. During all these days, great northern lights were seen in the whole Finland as well as in Central Europe. During the year 2000 there have occurred exceptional many nights illuminated by northern lights. The high auroral activity is expected to continue at least for the next 12 months.

The statistics of the auroral occurrence reveal that the best months for seeing northern lights are February - March and September - October. During midwinter and summer, there appear fewer northern lights. The best time for auroral observations, providing that the sky is not too cloudy, are the hours around the midnight.

More information about northern lights can be find at
http://www.geo.fmi.fi/MIRACLE/