The Northern Lights made a somewhat unexpected appearance Monday night, and thanks to some unsettled space weather they may be visible again Tuesday evening in North America and parts of Europe.
Former NASA astronomer Dr. Tony Phillips reports on Spaceweather.com that a moderate G2-class geomagnetic storm surprised forecasters in the early hours Monday.
“A significant crack opened in Earth’s magnetic field, and remained open for more than 5 hours. Bright auroras spread across much of Canada and Alaska as solar wind surged through the opening. According to our records, this was the strongest geomagnetic storm since a G3 event in May 2019.”
Some reports of the aurora borealis were spotted as far south as Chicago.
Current forecasts suggest tonight and tomorrow could see the geomagnetic activity continue.
March is often one of the best times of year for auroral activity because the aforementioned cracks in our magnetic field tend to open up around the equinoxes.
If you do catch any great photos of the aurora this week, please don’t hesitate to share them on Twitter and tag me @EricCMack.
And if you miss the show, don’t fear: the sun is moving into the active period of its solar cycle when geomagnetic storms from flares and coronal mass ejections become more likely.