A new report out of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center says that millions across the United States and Canada will be able to see the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) tonight!
According to the agency, a sudden burst of solar energy will hit Earth on Wednesday night (November 20th) and cause the Northern Lights to extend across a wide swath of the northern United States and southern Canada.
The University of Alaska-Fairbanks Geophysical Institute says that peak visibility will occur from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern Time.
In the above graphic, the large green stripe indicates where the lights will be best-viewed, but the effect of the Northern Lights can extend as far out as the thin green line that stretches deeper into the United States.
Just earlier this year, the U.S. got to witness a crazy phenomenon that showed many more states the Northern Lights – that kind of event was called a CME or Coronal Mass Ejection.
One of the very worst solar storms in recorded history happened in 1859 and is known as The Carrington Event – after the scientist who observed it and made correlations to the effect it had on the world.
During that extra rare event, CNET reports, many people saw the actual telegraph wires explode into flames and if that same thing were to happen today – humanity could be affected in disastrous ways.
Both CMEs and solar flares involve large explosions from the sun and outward bursts of energy that leave the sun and come shooting toward passing planets – like Earth.
Check out NASA’s cool video about Solar Flares and CMEs below and let us know if you’ll be heading outdoors for this geomagnetic storm in the comments below.