ICYMI: Watch a Replay of Last Night’s Aurora Borealis

A rare storm hit Earth on St. Patrick’s Day and amplified a stunning light show

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A rare G4, otherwise known as a "severe" geomagnetic storm, hit Earth on St. Patrick’s Day, beginning around 10 a.m. ET, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center.

Popular Science reported that a pair of coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, that left the Sun two days prior are now interacting with Earth's atmosphere and geomagnetic field, causing the geomagnetic storm.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, NOAA scientists said the two CMEs, which were at one point independent of one another, may have unexpectedly combined during their accelerating ascent toward Earth, which is potentially why the storm registered as a G4, with the scale going up to 5.

Although there was some fear that the storms would disrupt the electrical grid, create tracking problems on spacecraft, and cause issues with GPS and radio, NOAA did not receive any dramatic reports of problems. Instead, however, the storm caused a beautiful side effect: The aurora borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, were visible much farther south than their usual range close to or above the Polar Circle (i.e. Alaska, Northern Canada, northern Russia, etc.).

For those who missed it, and the Slooh Community Observatory created a video of the aurora in Iceland, which had moments of bright green. This was an unusual color for the lights, but fitting considering the storm occurred on St. Patrick’s Day.

via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

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The Planet

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In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

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