A Powerful Solar Storm Is Buffeting The Earth Right Now: You May Even See The Northern Lights Tonight

Aaron Homer - Author
By

Sep. 13 2017, Updated 3:38 a.m. ET

You may not realize it, but right now you are in the heart of a major storm – a major solar storm, that is, and it’s powerful enough that it may just bring a rare sight – the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights – to parts of the U.S. Tuesday night, The Seattle Times is reporting.

On Sunday evening (Earth time), two powerful magnetic blasts of plasma (that is, Coronal Mass Ejections, or CME’s) left the sun and started making their way toward our corner of the solar system. They combined into one solar superstorm, so to speak, and it’s a doozie: it ranks G4 on a five-point scale.

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The powerful electromagnet storm arrived late Monday night/Tuesday morning, bringing spectacular auroras visible across much of northern Europe, as well as Canada, and even as far south as Illinois, according to The Washington Post.

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Normally, the Northern Lights aren’t visible in the Lower 48 because the mainland is so far south. But in rare cases solar storms, such as the current one, can bring the Northern Lights as far south as northern Michigan, or even further south.

The good news is that the solar storm that brought the northern lights to the northernmost portions of the Lower 48 Monday night is expected to continue into Wednesday. The storm is already much stronger than expected, reports Korea Times, and it may even intensify. If that happens, the northern lights just might be visible as far south as southern Missouri.

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