by Steven Strouss
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Auroras are produced by the sun’s emission of highly energized electrons into space. This phenomenon is better known as a Coronal Mass Ejection.
They can happen often but it is usually the more massive explosions that feed large quantities of gas and matter into the Solar Wind which streams quickly and constantly, from the sun, toward the Earth.
As the Solar Wind interacts with the Earth’s Magnetosphere, some of the energy is deflected and accelerated toward the Poles causing a neon light to dance across the sky. This is the Aurora. The best place to view the Aurora is in the higher latitudes between 60 and 75 degrees but occasionally they can be seen in the mid-latitudes when the solar energy is strong enough.
Viewing the Aurora is best in dark areas, far away from city lights. Be sure to look low and North on the horizon. Weather conditions will be ideal with clear skies forecasted across the Northeast United States overnight and it is suggested to look during the first half of the night. Last night, the Northern Lights were seen in parts of Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Minnesota.
If you miss this event, you may still catch a glimpse of another cosmic display. The Taurid meteor shower is ongoing this week and fireballs may light up the sky through the middle of November. This meteor shower peaks November 5-12 and this will be a great year to see them without the disruption of a full moon.