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We May See the Northern Lights In South Dakota Sunday Night


On Friday (July 14) the sun let loose a huge solar flare and a coronal mass ejection, which is a wave of charged particles. What makes this event special is the position of Earth in relation to the the sun. The mass ejection will send a burst of solar radiation towards our planet. It’s expected to arrive Sunday night.

The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a Moderate G2 Geomagnetic Storm Watch for Sunday and Monday because when this radiation hits Earth it could mess with satellite communication and some radio signals.

But, the big deal for those of who live in the Upper Midwest is that this Geomagnetic Storm could bring the Northern Lights far enough south for us to see them. As the charged particles interact with our atmosphere and Earth’s magnetic field they create the light show know as Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights.

The skies will need to be clear Sunday night in order to see anything, and so far it looks good. There is also the chance that the Aurora may not drop far enough for South Dakota to see, the specifics are still up in the air, so to speak.

So, Sunday night after dark, probably close to midnight, look to the north and see what there is to see.

Sources: Washington Post, Space Weather Live, Space Weather Prediction Center

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