- A powerful solar storm could produce auroras visible from multiple US states this week.
- The lights can be seen as far south as Nebraska, which is rare.
- There is no guarantee that the storm will come, but if it does happen (and the clouds are strewn) there will be a lot of eye candy in the sky.
Winter is fast approaching – in some areas of the country it looks like it’s already here – but if you can stand the cold, there’s a good reason to stare at the sky after sunset this week. A powerful solar storm is heading towards Earth and that means an amazing light show in the sky.
New solar storm hours on the evenings of December 9-10 mean that twilights should not only be visible to individuals in northern states with clear views, but lights may be visible as far south as parts of Illinois and many other states. T usually privy to such things.
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Watching a solar storm – runging in intensity from G1 to G3 – caused by a slight increase in solar weather from the sun. The solar weather is basically what we experience when a flux of charged particles from the Sun interacts with the upper atmosphere. In some cases, this reaction causes twilights or northern lights (southern lights if you are at the other end of the globe).
Canada and some northern states in the United States are treated with auroras on a more regular basis than the rest. The southern US never sees it, but states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Maine handle the stripes glowing in the sky on a near-regular basis. A more powerful G3-level storm (if it comes to fruition) could allow states like Pennsylvania and Nebraska to see the spotlight.
A solar storm reaching this level of intensity isn’t a sure thing, of course, but if it does and you don’t have clouds blocking your view, you’ll know for sure. Twilight can be a stunning sight, with streaks of color ranging from blue and green to orange and even pink in some cases. Certainly worth checking out.
If you want the best chance at seeing aurora and live in a state that has a chance to catch it, you will need to stay awake until the sun is completely set, and ideally, you will have a clear view of the sky. Those in large cities may have more difficulty seeing the lights due to light pollution, but individuals in rural areas will be able to see it clearly if it does. Unfortunately, the timing of the lights is hard to predict, so looking out the window sometimes is a good idea if you don’t want to miss the peak.