The aurora borealis streaking across Alaska skies this week captivated sky watchers who camped out in sub-zero temperatures to photograph the lights, billed as the most active in years.
At the same time, scientists say the light show is a sign of a new solar cycle that heralds many geomagnetic storms.
That means more visible auroras -- and potential disruption to the satellites humans rely on for everything from spy surveillance to GPS tracking.
Alaskans will witness much more aurora activity in the near future, said UCLA geophysicist Yuri Shprits, who studies the potential impacts of solar storms on satellite systems.
A storm happens when massive amounts of radiation from solar flares hit the earth's magnetic field.
"For a long time, we had one of the quietest periods of electromagnetic activity," Shprits said in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "After such a long time the sun is waking up and it's big news."
It can be dramatic.
Read the entire story and see the pictures at adn.com