Northern lights come south for unusual viewing of aurora borealis

A solar storm brings the northern lights further south. Learn more here.

An intense solar storm has the northern lights gracing the skies farther south than usual.

From Washington state to Wisconsin, auroras were reported as mostly a reddish glow instead of the typical green shimmer. In the U.S., skygazers also took in the sights from Colorado, California, New Mexico and even Arizona.

A blast of superhot material from the sun late last week hurled scorching gases known as plasma toward Earth at nearly 2 million mph, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

Earth felt the brunt of the storm Sunday, according to NOAA, with forecasters warning operators of power plants and spacecraft of the potential for disruption.

“I don’t want any expectations of these green curtains moving back and forth” so far south, said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.
Although conditions have eased, auroras might still be visible as far south as South Dakota and Iowa late Monday and early Tuesday if skies are dark.

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