Look Up Tonight – You May See The Northern Lights


    NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has issued a severe G4 geomagnetic storm watch for tonight following significant solar activity, including multiple solar flares and coronal mass ejections that started Wednesday.

    For night sky enthusiasts, the storm might also dazzle, with the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights visible as far south as Kentucky and Northern California. There’s a good chance you can see them near the northern horizon in our area as well.

    The best viewing times for the Northern Lights are currently projected from 10:00-2:00 tonight with Kp index levels hitting 7.0–8.33 in that time frame. 

     Geomagnetic storms, triggered by eruptions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona, can pose threats to critical infrastructure by disrupting communications, navigation and even the electric power grid. 

   The Northern Lights occur when the solar particles in those storms interact with oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere near the poles.