Aurora alert for tonight

By Phil Plait | September 26, 2011 3:11 pm

I just got word from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center that Saturday’s solar activity blew a wave of subatomic particles from the Sun that is reaching the Earth now. They rated this as a strong G3 event, which means it’s not dangerous per se but should spark aurorae at high latitudes.

If you live at very north or very south (like southern Argentina, Australia, and so on) latitudes, you should get out after dark and take a look. You can also check the SWPC’s aurora map to check your odds of seeing anything. Here’s the map for the northern hemisphere as of today at 21:00 UT (5:00 p.m. Eastern US time):

The fringes reach as far south as where I am in Colorado, so if it clears up later I’ll take a look. And check back at the SWPC page; I expect the effects here on Earth will get stronger for a while before dying off. Again, we’re in no danger here, but hopefully we’ll get a nice light show out of this.


Related posts:

Awesome X2-class solar flare caught by SDO
NASA’s guide to solar flares
Southern lights greet ISS and Atlantis

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Space
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