Better late than never! If you're reading this Monday night, take a look to the northern sky and see if you can view the Aurora Borealis! Also called the northern lights, the dancing display of lights is a result of a geomagnetic storm on the Earth's outer most atmosphere (magnetosphere). The interaction of charges particles with the atmosphere creates a visible display of lights. The whole process originates at the sun's surface with an eruption known as a coronal mass ejection.
The really vivid ones can be absolutely spectacular with pinks and greens and oranges. Look for something a bit lighter in color than the photo in the top left (click to enlarge- courtesy of this guy's website)
Geomagnetic storms range in intensity (just like any storm), but it's not rain or snow that comes with these storms. Geomagnetic storms carry along charges particles all the way from the sun, and can also cause disruptions in power systems, satellites, and other spacecraft orbiting the earth. These effects go mostly unnoticed by you and I, but we certainly don't ignore the resultant display of lights!
I encourage you to monitor this website (click) for where the lights will be visible (its a forecast page from the University of Alaska). In this display, the green line shows how far south the lights could be visible, especially low on the horizon. The shaded area is where the lights will be visible overhead. The stronger the storm, the farther south the lights can be seen. In this case tonight, the lights could be visible as far south as southern New England back through the southern Great Lakes, midwest plains, and northwestern US.
To monitor actual auroral oval, click here
If you have photos after tonight, I would love to see them! Please upload them to our Share Your Voice photo uploader on fox44now.com. OR you can post them to our Facebook page, just search for Fox44 Local News (or click here).