Northern Lights to Be Seen in U.S. and U.K During Solar Storm?!

( – Solar storms are bringing the Northern Lights to places in the United States and the United Kingdom that normally wouldn’t experience them.

The aurora borealis, also called the Northern Lights, will be seen in the United States as far as the Midwest starting at the beginning of the week. In a normal situation, these lights would only be seen in the Arctic Circle but they will be visible in many different areas, including Switzerland.

Aurora australis, which is usually only seen in the southern hemisphere, will be seen in Australia and farther into the west. There has been an alert sent out by the Bureau of Meteorology’s space weather forecasting center in Australia saying that the lights will be visible.

The solar storms themselves are caused by coronal mass ejections, which occur when clouds of plasma are ejected from the sun’s atmosphere. Those particles that are emitted come towards Earth and create an interesting display once they hit Earth’s atmosphere. The lights are usually seen in the northern part of Canada and on the coast of Antarctica, but these will shift and allow the lights to be viewed in other areas, especially in the presence of a solar storm.

Macquarie University astronomer Dr Stuart Ryder said that the solar cycle is getting to its peak this year. He said, “It’s much more likely to release huge flares of energy, enormous quantities of charged particles radiating away from the sun … their characteristic colors are green or red but people report blues, yellows, even purples.”

They have said that the view of the lights may be impeded if they are in the same area where the Eclipse is visible because the dimming of the sun will offset these lights and people will not be able to view them.

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