Northern Lights Visible in Parts of California – KOST 103.5

2 minutes, 24 seconds Read

Northerns lights will be visible starting this evening in California and stargazers will have the best viewing opportunity overnight between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday.

There is a strong solar storm that could make the Northern Lights visible but keep in mind it could also impact your power, TVs and radios.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the outbursts of plasma are capable of disrupting satellites in orbit and power grids here on Earth.

The agency issued a rare geometric storm watch — the first in nearly 20 years.

The images of these Northern Lights will look like a faint, green glow rather than what the trained eye is used to seeing.

They could be visible in parts of the Bay Area, and possibly as far south as Southern California. The best chance of seeing them will be in the Pacific Northwest.

Experts believe that even if the lights are visible in the Bay Area, it will depend on where you are. So, you may or may not see them.

Bryan Mendez, with the UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science, says getting away from the light pollution of the city is your best bet.

“Further in the East Bay might be a good place to head, or up north. Basically, away from the megalopolis of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose,” Mendez said.

You can see maps of the expected auroral activity here. (Note: Navigate to May 11 for N. America to see the map for this event)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s rare geomagnetic storm watch — the first in nearly 20 years — was expected to become a warning Friday night when the effects of the solar outburst were due to reach Earth.

NOAA has notified operators of power plants and spacecraft in orbit to take precautions.

“As far as the worst situation expected here at Earth, that’s tough to say and I wouldn’t want to speculate on that,” said NOAA space weather forecaster Shawn Dahl. “However, severe level is pretty extraordinary, It’s a very rare event to happen.”

NOAA said the sun produced strong solar flares beginning Wednesday, resulting in five outbursts of plasma capable of disrupting satellites in orbit and power grids here on Earth. Each eruption – known as a coronal mass ejection – can contain billions of tons of plasma and magnetic field from the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona.

The flares seem to be associated with a sunspot that’s 16 times the diameter of Earth, according to NOAA. An extreme geomagnetic storm in 2003 took out power in Sweden and damaged power transformers in South Africa.

The most intense solar storm in recorded history, in 1859, prompted auroras in Central America and possibly even Hawaii. “That’s an extreme-level event,” Dahl said. “We are not anticipating that” but it could come close.

If you’re interested in staying current on the Northern Lights, follow the Twitter accounts below for updates.

Source: ABCNews7

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned on the title of this site

Similar Posts