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Northern Lights could light up the sky tonight

Posted on Tuesday, August 03 2010 @ 16:54:49 CEST by

NASA reports a coronal mass ejection (CME) is heading in Earth's direction. It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time, if isn't cloudy tonight and you live in an area with little light pollution there's a small chance you may see the spectacular Aurora Borealis. Usually the Northern Lights are only visible in the polar regions, but the severity of this solar storm could make the lights visible in the Northern US and Europe.
On August 1st around 0855 UT, Earth orbiting satellites detected a C3-class solar flare. The origin of the blast was Earth-facing sunspot 1092. C-class solar flares are small (when compared to X and M-class flares) and usually have few noticeable consequences here on Earth besides aurorae. This one has spawned a coronal mass ejection heading in Earth's direction.


"This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th," said astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."
More details at NASA and CNN.



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