Tonight (8/6)..we have a chance to see some scattered thunderstorms, but if the skies can stay clear, we also have the chance to see something that is kind of rare in our area….the Northern Lights!! A large storm on our Sun is the cause of this.
Solar flares are ejected from the sun and thrown into outer space. The energy from this hits the magnetic field around the Earth and excites oxygen and nitrogen molecules high in the Earth’s atmosphere. The end result is beautiful streaks of color that dance across the sky called the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. This atmospheric phenomenon rarely makes it this far south, but during strong solar storms, such as our current one, they most certainly can.
So we are hoping for clear skies tonight, if we get them, here our a couple of tips.
First, patience is a virtue. They come in bursts, there could be nothing going on for some time and then all of a sudden they will appear so you may have to sit aside a couple of hours to view them.
Second, try to get away from as much light as possible, the light will hurt the viewing.
The best time to view is around midnight and a couple of hours before and after.
For us, the northern lights will be seen lower in the atmosphere than in higher latitudes. Even with all of these measures in place we still may not see them..its the luck of the draw, but there is a chance. If you do see them, send us some pictures on our facebook page at facebook.com/KTTCweather or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I was trying to post some pictures, but there is something wrong with our server.
This post was written by jkegges on August 6, 2011