See Aurora Borealis within the northern US states

  • Aurors could be spotted in states north of Maine to Montana to Washington this week.
  • The colorful event was courtesy of a solar flare that erupted from a sunspot on Monday.
  • The aurora is created when the particles flowing from the sun are trapped in the earth’s magnetic field.

If you live in parts of the northern United States, keep your gaze on the sky for the next few nights: if you don’t have pesky clouds, you can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.

Aurors could be spotted in northern states from Maine to Montana to Washington this week, according to SpaceWeather.com.

The colorful event was kindly triggered by a solar flare that broke out from a sunspot on Monday. A mass coronal ejection – an eruption of plasma from the sun – also headed toward Earth and arrived early Thursday.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center announced that the coronal mass ejection began to interact with the Earth’s magnetic field early Thursday. The electromagnetic storm was expected to grow to a major status on Thursday, expanding the area where the northern lights can be seen.

So Thursday night could be the best night to see the Northern Lights.

The center issued a geomagnetic storm clock stating that a G3 storm, or “strong” storm, is possible here on Earth on Thursday.

The aurora is created when the particles flowing from the sun are trapped in the earth’s magnetic field. The particles interact with molecules of atmospheric gases to create the famous bright red and green colors of the aurora.

The lights are visible in both the extreme north and the south of the world. The southern lights are known as the Aurora Australis.

Contributor: Bill Steiden, The Des Moines Register

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