Solar storm expected to bring northern lights Sunday night

By Tyler Marr
July 16, 2017 - 8:00am Updated: July 16, 2017 - 9:24am

Residents who keep their eyes to the sky in the coming nights could be in for a spectacular display of aurora.

Thanks to a massive solar storm, northern lights are expected to be visible in most of the sky over Canada Sunday night and even some northern sections of the United States -- well outside of the usual range.

According to the U.S. based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center, late Thursday, a massive dormant sunspot erupted, causing a phenomenon known as a coronal mass ejection that blasted plasma solar particles and X-Rays into space and some appear to be heading towards Earth. 

When the planet passes through the cloud of particles, most are filtered around the planet thanks to our magnetic field. However, a few will get tangled in the field, creating geomagnetic storms and produce a stunning display of aurora.

NOAA's three-day forecast suggests the lights will be most visible late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

For optimal viewing, people should attempt to venture outside the city to reduce the amount of light pollution. A higher altitude can also give better views.  

 

tyler.marr@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @JournoMarr

 

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