Solar Eruption Could Mean Aurora This Weekend Jul 15, 2017

A solar flare erupted on the surface of the sun Friday night, and that energy is now heading toward Earth.

Now, don’t get too concerned about this- solar eruptions are fairly common. In fact, the results of solar flares can sometimes create those captivating colorful displays in the night sky known as the aurora (also known as the “northern lights”). More on that in a moment, but first…what is a solar flare?

Solar flares are “explosions” on the surface of the sun. That explosion violently releases a cloud of solar plasma, energetic particles, gas, and magnetic fields called coronal mass ejections (CME).  NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is constantly monitoring for solar flares, and caught the most recent one in eye-capturing images. (below). The “explosion” seen in the image below is the CME.

 

When coronal mass ejections are directed toward Earth, that energy will travel through space, and sometimes can interact with our atmosphere or nearby satellites. That flux of energetic particles can cause a variety of impacts  to us here on Earth including disruptions with signal transmission from GPS satellites, power grids, and some forms of communication. As mentioned earlier, that influx of energetic particles interacting with Earth outer atmosphere (specifically the magnetosphere) can create beautiful aurora displays over the high latitudes  of  Earth, giving people spectacular dancing color displays in the night sky.

 

The energy from this most recent solar flare is expected to reach Earth by Sunday evening. That means if you live at a higher latitude, keep an eye to the night sky for possible aurora views. The Space Weather Prediction Center predicts that areas as far south as the lower great lakes, as well as most of the northern tier of the US. In the image below, NOAA expects the aurora to be most likely visible between the green and yellow line.

NOAA forecast displaying which areas may have best view of aurora and impacts from latest solar storm

 

Keep watching WeatherNation, and we’ll let you know where skies will be clear so you can get outside to hopefully catch this amazing visual phenomenon.

If you’d like to learn more about solar storms and the impacts, head over to NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center site.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweets

A look back at the Great Appalachian Storm of November 22-30,1950 which produced more than 5 feet of snow in some… https://t.co/2Ct3iRBHVq

56 minutes ago by WeatherNation

#HIGHWATER: The Skagit River in Washington is reaching its highest levels in more than a decade. River flooding and… https://t.co/BLhcAMtAv1

1 hour ago by WeatherNation

BLACK FRIDAY FORECAST: Another quiet day across the country!🌞Look for more record highs in the central and southwes… https://t.co/bkynVgu3bi

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

🌪️TORNADO IN INDONESIA 🌪️ A scary sight Wednesday evening as a powerful twister damaged hundreds of homes and injur… https://t.co/mM6myXA06Q

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

Black Friday Rain for Florida this morning #WeatherNation #FLwx https://t.co/Yv9x6NpbfQ

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

Tummy full of #turkey? Why not take a long walk on the beach! Summer like temperatures made for a spectacular 👍Than… https://t.co/OWhACnv1EF

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

Record heat observed in many cities on Thanksgiving https://t.co/68Cf3ZcwKG https://t.co/CW5QvEAk5J

13 hours ago by WeatherNation

RT @SteveGlazier: Another fiery sunset across the #Denver area tonight! #COwx @WeatherNation https://t.co/yYgEpbK6SJ

16 hours ago by WeatherNation

Whoa! A #waterspout was caught on camera today off the coast of Florida. Good news is that the weather turns calmer… https://t.co/mVyL2yUeq4

18 hours ago by WeatherNation

Nearly six inches of rain already fell across parts of Florida! https://t.co/f0ihlxoSzj

18 hours ago by WeatherNation

Check out this stunning view from Portland, OR. https://t.co/pZ2scKevNu

18 hours ago by WeatherNation

#HappyThanksgiving from our afternoon team of meteorologists, directors, and producers here at @WeatherNation Have… https://t.co/1HMy8i3G6r

18 hours ago by WeatherNation

#HappyThanksgiving from our @WeatherNation Family to yours, we hope you're enjoying your special holiday with those… https://t.co/dyAmrGvyuK

20 hours ago by WeatherNation

It's all about dressing for the weather! Black Friday Forecast: https://t.co/BMOr8kXKcB

20 hours ago by WeatherNation

Throwback weather: a look at weather conditions on the first proclaimed Thanksgiving by President Abraham Lincoln i… https://t.co/yyWx1YAvV6

23 November by WeatherNation

HEADS UP FLORIDA! #Waterspouts and strong wind gusts are possible with heavy rain all day. Stay inside and stay dry. https://t.co/XamMQvog8y

23 November by WeatherNation

For some, it's all about the 🦃#GobbleTillYouWobble. For others, it's a special vacation spot ⛷️🏂Tell us about the f… https://t.co/TnxBkM9FZb

23 November by WeatherNation
Follow Us