Northern Lights could be visible Friday night

Some space weather forecasters are saying tonight could be the best opportunity for us to see the Northern Lights in over a year.   Forecasting this phenomenon is very difficult, but here’s how you may be able to see it tonight.

  • Wait until the sky gets dark
  • Get away from city lights
  • Look to the northern horizon
  • Be patient, check back through the night

The science behind the Aurora Borealis

Two powerful solar flares erupted from the sun on both Monday and Wednesday this week.  Material from these eruptions was thrown through space and toward Earth.  Material released from a solar flare is called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).   That material is a plasma consisting of electrons and protons and sometimes helium and oxygen.

Here’s a movie of the X-Class solar flare on Wednesday from NASA:

The Earth’s atmosphere protects us from the large amounts of radiation from the sun; however…

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