Sun Unleashes X1.2 Flare Northern Lights Possible

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Ever dream of seeing the Northern Lights? Tomorrow may be your chance, today the Sun unleashed a massive X1.2 Solar Flare and sent a CME ( Coronal Mass Ejection) our way expected to arrive tomorrow around 6:00 P.M. CST. When predicting Geomagnetic activity there is a lot of uncertainty with how far south the Northern Lights will go as we do not know the nature of the CME until its a lot closer.

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The Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G2 Geomagnetic Storm watch for early morning on 1/9/2014. What does this mean? Geomagnetic storms are rated from G1(Minor)- G5(Extreme). For G1 storming you may get a decent show in Northern MT, ND, MN, and MI. For G5 storming the whole lower 48 can possibly catch a glimpse of the aurora. The Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks, Alaska provides us with an idea of what the aurora would look like in a G2 storm. You can take a look at other levels of activity at http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/Interpreting

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Another term you may hear of is Kp, Kp is just another rating scale for geomagnetic activity. I have put together a list to compare both of the scales.

  • Kp 5 = G1
  • Kp 6 = G2
  • Kp 7 = G3
  • Kp 8 = G4
  • Kp 9 = G5

Happy Aurora Hunting! We will keep you updated on CME arrival and any ground observations that have been made. If you get any photos of the Northern Lights be sure to send them to [email protected]

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