For Star Watchers: A Fireworks Show Called Northern Lights Is Coming

CHICAGO (AP) – A fireworks display that has nothing to do with July 4th and everything to do…

CHICAGO (AP) – Fireworks that have nothing to do with July 4 and everything to do with the cosmos are about to be seen in the northern United States and Europe just in time for Halloween.

On Thursday, the sun launched what is called an “X-class solar flare” powerful enough to trigger a high-frequency radio power outage in parts of South America. The energy from this flare is dragged by a cluster of solar plasma and other materials called coronal mass ejection, or CME for short. This is heading towards Earth, prompting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to issue a warning about a potentially strong geomagnetic storm.

It may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie. But in reality, it just means that a good part of the north of the country may be entitled to a light show called the Northern Lights, or Northern Lights.

Geomagnetic thunderstorms as large as what could happen can produce displays of lights that can be seen at latitudes as low as Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Iowa. It could also cause voltage irregularities on high latitude power grids, such as loss of radio contact on the sunny side of the planet.

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