Aurora Borealis Casts Its Glow Above Bay Area In Rare Solar Storm – San Francisco, CA Patch

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BAY AREA — Ribbons of neon colored lights bathed Bay Area skies in shades of pink, purple and blue on Friday night in a rare appearance of the aurora borealis or Northern Lights.

A common occurrence near the northern polar region but seldom visible in lower latitudes of the Earth’s surface, the bands of color are the result of a powerful solar storm brewing 93 million miles out in space.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a G5 coronal mass ejection on the sun’s surface — think the space equivalent of Category 5 hurricane — will bombard the Earth with such intensity that the aurora will be visible throughout most of the United States. Fortunately for us humans, our atmosphere should protect the planet from any devastating effects, although experts say the solar storm could potentially impact communications and other electronic equipment.

The Northern Lights resurfaced on Saturday night from around 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., depending on weather conditions. The lights are visible to the naked eye, although viewing is best away from urban light pollution.

More information about the aurora borealis is available from NOAA at

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