Chance to see the Northern Lights

Wednesday, August 17th, provides an opportunity to see the Northern Lights

Nasa Image Courtesymp400 00 15 22still001RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, can be one of the most mesmerizing things to witness.

Early Tuesday, two moderately sized solar flares, one right after the other, occurred. With each solar flare, came a coronal mass ejection, or CME.

CMEs are the equivalent of spraying a fire hose in space for a short period of time.

Rather than spraying water, CMEs contain high energy particles that fly through space at over 45 million mph.

The high energy particles slam into Earth’s magnetosphere and are redirected towards the poles. The strength of the CME is what determines how far south the Northern Lights can be viewed.

Those CMEs from Tuesday are working their way through space, taking aim for Earth.

The CMEs are expected to hit Earth around 6:00 pm on Wednesday, with the most amount of solar particles hitting between 9:00 pm and midnight on Wednesday.

This event is expected to put on a spectacular show, but Northern Light events like this are either boom or bust.

If you want the best chance of seeing the Aurora, head north, away from the light pollution, hope for clear skies, and look north for as long as you can. The Northern Lights are very sporadic and difficult to predict, but you won’t get to see them if you don’t give yourself the best chance.



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