Northern lights: Huge solar flare may trigger Saturday night show
Northern lights show this weekend? A big solar plasma wave is heading toward Earth, and may create Northern lights or aurora borealis display by Saturday night.
The solar flare occurred at about 11:30 am EST (1600 GMT) and touched off a massive solar explosion — known as a coronal mass ejection — aimed at Earth, space weather experts and officials said. The charged particles from the sun explosion should reach Earth by Saturday night (Jan. 21), and could amp up northern lights displays when they hit the upper atmosphere.
"Forecasters say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives during the late hours of Jan. 21st. High-latitude (and possibly middle-latitude) sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend," the skywatching website Spaceweather.com announced in an alert.
The eruption shot out of active region 1401, a large sunspot that’s been spitting flares about once a day since satellites saw it advancing onto the sun’s Earth-facing disk.
As seen in the new video, the latest flare was followed by a coronal mass ejection, or CME, that was aimed right at Earth.
MORE & VIDEO: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/01/19/new-video-solar-flare-spied-on-candy-colored-sun/
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