Thanks to a powerful solar flare, the northern lights are on tour — sort of. Locals and lucky travelers in Northern Ireland this week have seen the dazzling ribbons of color usually reserved for higher lattitudes.
The reason? Particles from the solar flare that have started to rain down on Earth also have made the lights, a.k.a. the aurora borealis, visible to more people. (The magnetic showers expected to last to midday Friday also have the potential to down power grids and interrupt communications, according to this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration update.)
The British Geological Survey’s website reported that “already one CME [coronal mass ejection] arrived on the 14th sparking Valentine’s Day displays of the northern lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual.”
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For more information on the solar flare click here