Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 31, 2011

The Northern Lights Go South

The Northern Lights in Texas?

There was considerable interest recently when, on October 24, 2011, the Northern Lights were dimly visible as far south as Del Rio, Texas and were vividly visible from places such as Moodys, Oklahoma as shown in photos taken by Peter Henshaw and others.

Views of the Northern Lights, generally referred to as the Aurora Borealis, are normally restricted to areas of the Arctic and Antarctic regions; it is only on occasions of extraordinary solar activity that they may be seen beyond those areas. The event of October 24th was one of those occasions.

We are beginning to experience a period of increasing solar activity which, according to NASA and NOAA, will peak around the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. The homepage for provides a wealth of information on solar activity.

It appears we have been in a period of remarkably low solar activity for the last few years but that is starting to change. No one really knows how severe this upcoming solar maximum will be but there is concern that our highly technological society may experience serious difficulties should it get too severe.

A 500 Year Monster

I mentioned the Carrington Event of 1859 in my blog on 2012; this event, which is thought to be the most powerful solar activity in 500 years, resulted in widespread damage to the only electrical system in operation at that point, the telegraph system and displayed the lights as far south as Havana, Cuba, El Salvador, and Hawaii.

The solar flare was noted on September 1, 1859 and the auroral display was noticed early in the morning of September 2nd. The battery powered telegraph was only 15 years old at that time and the only example of an electrical grid in existence. The surge of electromagnetism caused fires to break out in telegraph offices and permitted the sending of telegrams with the batteries disconnected.

It is easy to imagine the disruption today if an event of similar intensity should occur; it has been projected that a similar event could cause between 1 and 2 trillion dollars of damage and take between 4 and 10 years to repair.  

A more complete account of this event can be found by typing Carrington Event 1859 into your search engine. To me the story of this event is completely fascinating but also rather intimidating when one considers the consequences to the highly technological infrastructure we have today.

It may well be the solar maximum that is expected to occur around the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 may be much less severe than the Carrington Event; one can surely hope that will be the case.

It is difficult for me to imagine a really dramatic change to life as I have always known it; I suspect that you share in that difficulty as well. The Bible tells us major changes will come as the end times draw near and many believe that the first step took place in 1948 when Israel became a nation again.

In Luke 21:29-33 the Lord is telling the disciples the parable of the fig tree and in verse 32 says “this generation shall not pass away, till all this be fulfilled.” This is generally believed to be a reference to the restoration of Israel as a nation which took place in 1948. This makes me think unimaginable change could be in the wind.

It doesn’t appear we have long to wait to find out.


  1. I can’t tell you how much your teachings mean to me. I have learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing what God has given you.


    • Sandy:

      Thank you so much for your words of encouragement; they were more timely than you would guess.



  2. David,

    That whole story is fascinating.

    Do you know if the government, NASA, etc., has taken any precautions in case something like that happens? There was such a huge effort preparing for Y2K, it would surprise me if they weren’t.


    • Carla:

      From what I’ve read it appears the job is overwhelmingly big. I suspect that some things are being done as this is the same type of problem that would be generated by an electromagnetic pulse from an aerial explosion of a nuclear weapon. This of course would be the big temptation for Iran and it appears that Iran has been testing missiles for that purpose. It wouldn’t really matter if it was from the sun or a nuclear explosion the results would be very serious and potentially catastrophic. One of the major problems would be our widespread electrical grid; trying to protect all of the circuits and transformers involved in that would be a monumental job of horrendous expense.



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