On June 9th, the sun, well, burped to put it lightly, a large amount of energy, known as a solar mass ejection. This energy will make its way towards earth for the next 3-5 days, giving the Northern parts of our country a chance to once again enjoy the Northern Lights. Although rain and clouds will put a damper on our Saturday night viewing, the rest of the Friday through Monday time frame should enjoy some great celestial viewing conditions.
SOLAR MASS EJECTION
This is what started it all on June 9, and many other dates in the past. Coronal mass ejections (or CMEs) are huge bubbles of gas threaded with magnetic field lines that are ejected from the Sun over the course of several hours. A CME can launch a billion tons of plasma from the sun's surface into space, at speeds of over a million miles per hour. As this energy flies through space, some of it interacts with the Earth's poles, resulting in a charge. So, like a neon light on the Vegas Strip, our northern skies can glow with amazing colors.
Here are some good websites to get more information on the many opportunities to catch a glimpse of these northern wonders.
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS AURORA FORECAST
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