Solar answers may be in the WIND


  • Michael Carlowicz


A monumental storm appeared before NASA's electronic eyes and then buffeted the Earth on October 18, 1995, but it wasn't a hurricane. Winds of a different sort—solar winds—delivered a monstrous magnetic cloud to Earth that day around 4 p.m. EST. The interplanetary disturbance smacked the “bow shock” at the sunward edge of Earth's magnetosphere and made it oscillate slightly, catalyzing a 2-day display of magnetic storms and aurorae visible as far south as Denver. And NASA's WIND spacecraft was there to see it coming.