It looks like you might be in for a nice light show tonight depending on where you live, as a “massive” solar flare is heading this way.
A powerful flare erupted from the sun Thursday, Jan. 19, unleashing a plasma wave that may supercharge the northern lights for skywatchers in high latitudes this weekend.
The solar flare occurred at about 11:30 am EST (1600 GMT) and touched off a massive solar explosion — known as a coronal mass ejection — aimed at Earth, space weather experts and officials said. The charged particles from the sun explosion should reach Earth by Saturday night (Jan. 21), and could amp up northern lights displays when they hit the upper atmosphere.
“Forecasters say strong geomagnetic storms are possible when the cloud arrives during the late hours of Jan. 21st. High-latitude (and possibly middle-latitude) sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend,” the skywatching website Spaceweather.com announced in an alert.
Don’t go all 2012 on me. There are solar storms, and there are SOLAR STORMS!!!!! This is projected to be the former, not the latter. I have a personal interest in solar storms as I considered them as a triggering agent for the disaster novel I’m playing around with before finally deciding on a hacker-triggered grid failure.
Gee, I’m just full of rainbows and sunshine this morning, aren’t I?