Possible Second Big Northern Lights Event Possible


Photo Courtesy Katherine Pond

     Those who missed the brilliant Northern Lights on Friday or last night’s lesser show might get lucky tonight.

       The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis are caused when the sun has major solar flares or storms and solar particles interact oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere near the poles.

      Friday’s displays were visible as far south as Florida and Puerto Rico with colors so vivid that many drivers pulled off highways to watch, the result of the strongest storm prediction in nearly 20 years by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

     Mike Bettwy, operations chief for the Space Weather Prediction Center, says the aurora was seen across much of the globe – a once in 20-to-25 year occurrence. 

      The solar storm that caused it has mostly passed now, but Bettwy says another wave of solar flares and mass coronal ejections of roughly the same intensity happened late Friday night and Saturday.

       That’s leading Bettwy and the Prediction Center to expect a repeat of Friday night’s unusually bright light show tonight before the storm winds down but with the chance of a lesser version the aurora still being visible in our area tomorrow night.