Sun Eruption Supercharges Northern Lights Displays This Weekend
A massive eruption on the sun Friday (March 15) unleashed a wave of intense solar particles at Earth that may spark a geomagnetic storm and boost weekend aurora displays.
The Earth-directed solar storm occurred Friday at 2:54 a.m. EDT (0654 GMT) in what astronomers call a coronal mass ejection – or CME – a sun eruption that can release billions of tons of solar material into space. The particles typically take between one and three days to reach Earth, where they can pose a hazard to satellites and electronic systems in orbit and on the planet’s surface, NASA officials said in a statement.
The solar particles from the Friday eruption were expected to reach Earth today (March 17).
“High-latitude and possibly even middle-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras this weekend,” the website Spaceweather.com, which tracks space weather and stargazing events, said in a weekend alert. [Amazing Auroras Photos of 2013]…