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Weather Talk: Solar 'weather' bringing northern lights to region

There have been a few nights recently during which the northern lights have been visible across our area. Auroras are common near Earth's magnetic poles where the magnetic field concentrates the effect. To get them this far south, it requires an ...

There have been a few nights recently during which the northern lights have been visible across our area.
Auroras are common near Earth’s magnetic poles where the magnetic field concentrates the effect. To get them this far south, it requires an explosion on the sun’s surface (coronal mass ejection), which sends a huge wave of highly charged particles toward Earth. 
Aurora have been noticeably absent from our region for the past 10 years or so because the sun has been quiet and there have been fewer solar storms. But the solar “weather” is becoming active again so we will likely have many more opportunities to see the northern lights this fall. 
Coronal mass ejections are reported so auroras can be forecast. Watch for notices on WDAY.  They are best viewed on a clear night without a bright moon, away from city lights. Look to the north-northeast. Although rare, sometimes they can become exceptionally brilliant and cover the sky.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com ,
or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108
Read the blog at http://www.stormtrack.areavoices.com

Related Topics: WEATHER
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