Written by By Sara Hirschhorn, CNN
The northern lights may dazzle Northern California and the US this October with auroras visible all the way up to Canada. An intense solar flare has been classified as a geomagnetic storm by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and is expected to occur on or around the day before Halloween.
Dubbed an “airborne coronal mass ejection” — an outburst of plasma and charged particles that erupts from the sun — this storm could result in the most powerful northern lights displays of the year.
“A coronal mass ejection originating on the sun is expected to originate over the Arctic, making for some of the earliest southern lights displays of the season,” NOAA said in a statement.
“For both aurora borealis and aurora australis, these displays may be more impressive and longer lasting than previous years as a result.”
The effects of a storm on Earth are comparable to those experienced by astronauts on long space missions and on submarines and airplanes. The storm is expected to bring a dazzling glow of the aurora to areas from northern Quebec up to the US midwest.