Northern Lights forecasted to ramp up with solar storm - Tucson News Now

Northern Lights forecasted to ramp up with solar storm

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A sunspot erupted on Tuesday, January 7th sending a stream of energy speeding towards Earth.

When the energy slams into the Earth's protective outer atmosphere, this could produce an impressive Aurora Borealis, also know as the Northern Lights, over Alaska on Thursday.

Below is a video of the explosion, known as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).  

The video comes from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). says the "snow in this movie is caused by solar protons striking the spacecraft's CCD camera. A veritable blizzard of speckles develops as the CME emerges into full view. Indeed, many of the protons are accelerated by shock waves at the forefront of the expanding cloud."

The sun is a peak period for energy with the latest CME coming from an especially impressive sunspot. 

"The source of all this activity is AR1944, one of the biggest sunspots of the past decade. The sprawling active region is more than 200,000 km wide and contains dozens of dark cores. Its primary core, all by itself, is large enough to swallow Earth three times over." says

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