What are Northern Lights that can be seen across parts of US ?

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 11, 2024   Update on : May 11, 2024

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A series of solar flares and coronal mass ejections from the sun is likely to create dazzling auroras that could be seen as far south as Alabama and Northern California, reports CNN.

However, it may disrupt communications on Earth tonight and over the weekend, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

The center, a division of National Weather Service, has issued a severe geomagnetic storm watch for Friday evening. It is the first such watch that has been issued since January 2005.

As of Friday afternoon, scientists at the center observed a turmoil in the Earth’s magnetic field, known as a “G4” or severe geomagnetic storm, which has a severity of level 4 out of 5.

Conditions pointing to the severe geomagnetic storm were first witnessed by the Space Weather Prediction Center at 12:37pm ET.

As the peak of activity of the sun nears its 11-year cycle, also known as solar maximum, expected later this year, researchers have noticed increasingly intense solar flares erupting from the fiery orb.

Increased solar explosions cause auroras that flicker around Earth’s poles, known as Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights, or, and Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights.

When the energized particles from large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s corona reach Earth’s magnetic field, they interact with gases in the atmosphere to create different colored lights in the night sky.

The Space Weather Prediction Center has tracked multiple strong flares being emitted from a large cluster of sunspots, areas where the Sun’s magnetic field is about 2,500 times stronger than Earth’s, since Wednesday. The cluster is reportedly 16 times the diameter of Earth.

These significant outbursts or explosions are expected to continue through Sunday.


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