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Grab the Kids and Check Out Rare Northern Lights Today

Rare sun storms might make Northern Lights visible Wednesday and Thursday.

Look to the sky around sunset today and tomorrow for a possible glimpse of a Northern Lights show.

Thanks to radiation from a recent solar flare on Sunday, solar storms are expected and Northern Lights could be “super charged” Wednesday and Thursday. The geomagnetic storms can be so powerful that cell phones, GPS systems, power grids, and radios might be temporarily disrupted. 

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory Team tweeted this morning: There is a 20-40% chance of geomagnetic storms! If you live at a high latitude, look out for #auroras today.

When a coronal mass ejection like Sunday’s flare hits Earth, according to Discovery News, “our planet’s global geomagnetic field deflects the energy, interacts with the CME’s magnetic field and funnels the solar energetic particles toward high latitude regions. The more fierce the geomagnetic storm, the deeper the particles penetrate.” Those particles fall on high-latitude regions and interact with atmospheric molecules, creating the lights known as auroras or northern lights.

The best time to view this week’s light show is around 3:20pm Eastern Time, or sunset wherever you may be.  It might be worth a drive to find a good spot to capture the beauty, especially if you’re in a high latitude!

Read Stephanie’s posts at Strollerderby and her personal blog, Adventures in Babywearing.

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Photo credit: Beverly & Pack & hat tip: Lauren Petersen

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