The aurora might be visible tonight

NASA sun coronal mass ejection 2010-08-01Thanks to "wonderful fireworks the Sun has been producing," there's a chance we could catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis tonight (you know, the Northern Lights.) [CS Monitor] [HSCFA]

Forecasts indicate New York State could be on the edge of the aurora's viewing area. Around midnight, look to the north for a red or green glow. Your chances will better the more north you are, and the darker the sky.

OK, about those fireworks on the sun...

From SpaceWeather.com:

On August 1st, the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. There was a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. ...
Some of the breakaway material is now en route to Earth in the form of a coronal mass ejection (CME).

In other words, the sun has sent zillions of particles shooting toward earth. When those particles hit the upper atmosphere, they get oxygen and nitrogen atoms excited (they become ionized -- that is, they carry an extra electron). These atoms are total lightweights and they quickly give up the extra electron (they can't hold their liquor, either). The light created when these electrons escape is the aurora.

photo: NASA

Comments

Oooh, I'll have a nice dinner of steamed hams tonight to enjoy the aurora with.

Not claiming that any of the 2012 theories or even the movie has any relevance, or that global warming is anything but gospel - but I did not see any of this information of the latest upstroke in solar activity in any of the normal news outlets.

Could it be that the SUN's weather actually has a major effect on the weather of the earth?

Katie beat me by a day with that excellent comment. A DAY!

For anyone who doesn't get why it was the best comment ever to be posted on AOA, here's the reference (it's even Albany related):

http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/54624/detail/

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Christine asked about bachelorette party ideas in downtown Troy. + We took a... (more)

In no more than 10 words

Long story short (because that's the point here): We had a chance to stop in to the Next Door Kitchen & Bar in Ballston Spa... (more)

"Very dramatic and a hell of a conversation piece!"

Currently listed on Albany Craigslist: "Electric Chair - $325" -- "Great for any "Man Cave", Bar, Fraternity or club house. Of course this is not... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Things should start to dry out just in time for this pre-Halloween weekend. And there's plenty to do, from haunted hayrides, scary movies and harvest... (more)

Morning Blend

Gabriel Vega -- accused of killing Vanessa Milligan in Lansingburgh this past April -- was arraigned on charges that included murder, abortion, and arson. The... (more)

Recent Comments

... Let's also lower the city speed limit to 25 while we're at it. Maybe then these morons will not go 45 miles an hour down Washington Avenue. Why should cities surrender themselves to the automobile and automobile drivers? - the very forces that killed cities to begin with. ...

Poking at some numbers for New York school districts, graduation rates, and income

...has 7 comments, most recently from KM

In no more than 10 words

...has 6 comments, most recently from Burnt My Fingers

"Very dramatic and a hell of a conversation piece!"

...has 2 comments, most recently from Barold

Favorite fall hikes?

...has 16 comments, most recently from Tess

Albany Common Council passes red light camera ordinance: comments, votes, thoughts

...has 36 comments, most recently from -B