Solar winds from a vigorous geomagnetic storm on the sun have been striking Earth during the past week and triggering one of the more spectacular shows of the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) in recent memory. The light show was visible across the northern United States from Philadelphia to Nebraska. Unfortunately cloud cover kept those of us in Philadelphia from enjoying the rare sight this time around. There were numerous reports of the colorful red and green pillars overhead in southern Wisconsin.
This video was from Finland yesterday courtesy; All About Lapland magazine
This recently opened large hole in the suns atmosphere is where bursts of plasma (Solar Flares) have been originated from and produced the solar winds composed of charged particles that have raced toward Earth at speeds up to 2 million miles per hour.
When these charged solar particles hit Earth’s atmosphere they interact with the air and a spectacular light show of reds and greens is the result.
Winter is a great time to see the northern lights because of the extra hours of darkness. Typically late evening toward midnight is when the best viewing takes place. You need to be away from city lights and look toward the North Pole.