Bay Area sky gazers look to catch another glimpse of Northern Lights – NBC Bay Area

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Hundreds of people across the Bay Area had their cell phones out on Saturday night. Many were ready to capture the rare colors of the Northern Lights, the beautiful result of a phenomenon known as a solar storm or the aurora borealis.

From Placer County to Danville to Mount Hamilton, vibrant colors filled the sky Friday night. The lights were visible throughout the Bay Area and on Saturday night, the images were inspiring people who missed it to try to catch a possible second show.

“Some moments are so much better when you’re in the moment compared to seeing a video of it afterwards seeing it on video,” said Kasia Karbowski of Saratoga.

Astronomer Gerald McKeegan said the last time people saw a show like this was 20 years ago. So why is it happening?

“The ionized material enters the atmosphere at the poles, where it interacts with the oxygen in our atmosphere, creating all of these bright colors,” he said.

McKeegan added while Saturday’s show may not be as colorful, it was worth trying to catch a glimpse using your camera. Just find a spot away from city lights and point north.

But these vibrant colors may also have a dark side.

“It’s kind of disrupting earth’s magnetic field and that can cause all kinds of problems with radio communications. communications, with GPS, it cause problems like power failures,” McKeegan said.

Starlink, the satellite arm of Elon Musk‘s SpaceX warned of degraded service because of the geomagnetic storm.

But that didn’t stop people from trying to catch a glimpse of this light show on Saturday night.

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