Northern Lights Coming to New England

Northern Lights might be visible from the Quad Cities tonight

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a moderate geomagnetic storm watch for July 16 and 17.

Here's what that means and how that happens.

Earlier on Friday a huge sunspot (AR2665 if you are scoring at home) erupted on the surface of our sun.

A CME, or coronal mass ejection, is an explosion of solar flares that affect the planets due to the sun.

When this mass arrives on Sunday, it will likely spark geomagnetic storms and brilliant auroras for the high latitudes.

The last time Canada had an especially vibrant display of the northern lights was at the end of May.

Meteorologists predict the peak viewing times will be between 11:00 p.m. Sunday and 2:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Also known as the northern lights, the aurora is caused by electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere.

Sunday night, the aurora borealis should be visible nearly as far south as the yellow line on this map. These gases give off light from green to orange to red depending on the type of gas being excited by the charged solar particles.

If you can find locations without a lot of street light, such as Spanish Banks or the top of Burnaby Mountain, you might get a better view. You may see a faint glow or much more.



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