A NASA satellite has spotted a big solar flare aimed directly at the Earth, and that material will likely hit us on Saturday. NOAA forecasts a solar storm starting Saturday morning and continuing into Sunday.
Don’t worry, because this storm isn’t harmful. Although the Sun can-and occasionally does-produce damaging solar storms, most solar weather is harmless. The only real effect from the storm this weekend is likely to be a prominent aurora.
In fact, NOAA has forecast a strong aurora around the mid-latitudes, which means if you’re in the northernmost United States you have a chance to see it. Take a look at this map:
According to NOAA, the aurora could be visible as far south as the yellow line, which is good news if that’s where you live. At the very least, the aurora will reach past the green line for most of the weekend.
So what time is best for looking at this aurora? The NOAA forecast says the storm will peak on Saturday afternoon, but the sunlight will make it impossible to see the faint aurora. Instead, your best bet is Saturday evening into early Sunday morning. By then the storm may have faded a little, so it might not be visible too far past the green line, but that time is going to be your best bet.
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