You'll want to keep your eyes on the sky this weekend. There's a chance we might see the Northern Lights!
A large sunspot unleashed a giant solar flare Thursday which could result in the light show in the sky.
Solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that deliver energy, light and high speed particles into space. These flares often occur with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
The sun is currently moving towards another solar maximum, which occurs approximately every 11 years. As we reach that maximum next year, we will see more flares sending their radiation all the way to Earth.
A large sunspot, as wide across as 10 planet Earths, unleashed a giant X-class solar flare (X1.4) Thursday. The biggest or strongest flares are known as "X-class flares".
The flare sent a CME toward Earth (due to hit at 6:20 AM Sunday, +/- 7 hours). Watch for the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights both Saturday and Sunday nights. Weather permitting, auroral activity may be seen as far south as Seattle, Des Moines, Detroit, Boston and Halifax!
Currently, this solar flare poses no serious threat to satellites or astronauts. However, this could change if the storm continues to intensify. Stay tuned.
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