Northern Lights Visible in Iowa Tonight?
These CMEs aren’t strong enough to knock out satellites or power grids. But they could be strong enough to show Iowan’s a display of the Aurora Borealis.
According to earthsky.org, on Saturday, August 28, a 10 million degree solar flare blasted out from our sun, creating a minor radio blackout on the sun-facing side of Earth.
Later that same day, another eruption on our sun sent another CME towards our planet. That makes TWO that are headed our way.
Weather permitting, auroral displays may be visible low on the horizon as far south as Chicago.
Remember to let your eyes adjust to the darkness and try to get away from city lights. Generally, it typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust. But it can take longer.
The best time to watch for aurora is the three or four hours around midnight, but the phenomenon occurs throughout the night. As a bonus, the moon is only about 30% illuminated. Now, we just need to hope for clear skies!
Some recent photos from the Aurora Borealis in Alaska:
But what are the Northern Lights? According to space.com:
Energized particles from the sun slam into Earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph, but our planet's magnetic field protects us from the onslaught. As Earth's magnetic field redirects the particles toward the North Pole, the dramatic process transforms into a cinematic atmospheric phenomenon.
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