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From Fizzle to Fire Says a Solar Fidget Spinner

Dear <<First Name>>,

Sometimes the things we most believe will exceed our expectations are the things that fizzle. Other times, the things most overlooked are what bring the fire. In my last letter to you I talked about how the "X-Factor" can often be misleading, elevating hype over reality. It looks like our Sun wanted to remind us of this wise lesson.

The much publicized Halloween solar storm indeed fizzled when it arrived at Earth last week. So much for the X-Factor. Many who hoped and waited for Lady Aurora deep into the evening felt stood-up. They closed their doors in disappointment that night. This led me to worry the fizzle might do lasting damage to the credibility of Space Weather forecasting and crush public interest all together. However, a very close friend noticed my online fidgeting and had some powerful wisdom to impart. He did it by giving me a solar fidget spinner as a gift (see the photo above). He hoped it would help soothe me, but it did so much more. It made me see the Sun similarly, as a spinning wheel of fortune, always throwing us new opportunities as it rotates. That image gave me new hope.

Sure enough, a day after the Halloween fizzle, our star launched a new Earth-directed solar storm. This one was accompanied by a more modest M-flare and thus was panned by the mainstream media. After all, it didn't have the X-Factor. But I knew better. This was another chance at a dazzling display of dappled lights-- another chance to get it right. Sure enough, this one brought the fire. During the ensuing G3-level solar storm on November 3-4, breathtaking Aurora Borealis views were had as far south as North Carolina, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Joshua Tree, California. Aurora Australis were seen as far north as Auckland, New Zealand and Victoria, Australia. (For an after-storm recap on the Halloween fizzle and November fire, check out this live segment I did on Ham Nation:

So as you watch the forecast this week and see that things have gone quiet once again, think of the wheel of fortune and how, like our star, it is continually spinning. My friend was indeed wise to give me this gift, as it reminds me not only that our fortunes are constantly changing, but that we must always be ready and hopeful for the future. The right opportunity will come. How quickly things can go from fizzle to fire says the solar fidget spinner.

A Goodbye Kiss from A Big Flare Player | Space Weather News 11.11.2021
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