Northern Lights: Solar storms may push celestial show further south

Posted By: The Ski Channel on August 3, 2010 5:37 pm

A rare blast of plasma from the sun slammed into Earth’s magnetic field Tuesday afternoon. As a result, some lucky stargazers viewing the skies late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning could see northern lights, or aurorae.

If on-lookers are privileged enough to witness the rare celestial show, it will be the result of charged particles hitting the upper atmosphere and in the process turning its nitrogen and oxygen atoms into sweeping, illuminated curtains of red, green, and blue northern lights.

According to early projections, the best seats will not surprisingly be found at high latitudes such as Alaska, or in Canada’s Northwest Territories. However, it’s possible that some form of northern lights may appear along the US-Canadian border – stretching from Washington state to northwestern Montana through northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the northern tip of Maine.