‘Solar tsunami’ sends Northern Lights our wayon August 4, 2010 at 3:59 am
A “solar tsunami” sent energy rolling toward earth from the surface of the sun on Sunday. As the wave of energy sluices over the Earth, the Pacific Northwest is primed for a rare chance Tuesday night to see auroras, commonly known as the Northern Lights.
A key measure of solar activity shows a pierce sufficient for auroras to be visible in the Pacific Northwest. The “coronal mass ejections” from the sun are striking the Earth’s atmosphere and hitting the right kind of tune for the Northern Lights to dance.
“It could be visible almost all the way down to California at this state,” said Jim Todd, the planetarium manager at OMSI in Portland. “Anytime we get a red bar like that, it’s definitely worth trying.”
Added to city lights, the sky could disturb viewing. Todd suggests a digital camera on a tripod to take 3 to 5 second disclosures towards the northern horizon. If the picture confirms some shades of green to red curtain-like images, chances are the auroras are active.