Northern Lights alert: Multiple solar energy blobs heading toward Earth

Multiple Coronal Mass Ejections, which are energy blobs from the sun, could cause northern lights tonight.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center says several bursts of energy where shot out from the sun over the past 48 hours. They aren’t predicting a direct strike from these energy bursts, but expect a “glancing blow.”

The energy bursts are called Coronal Mass Ejections, or CMEs. CMEs are the energy bursts that produce northern lights.

At the moment, the official forecast for possible northern lights is for tonight, Monday night into the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

The great news is Michigan will have skies that are clear as a bell tonight.

NOAA says the combination of several CMEs with glancing blows at the earth’s atmosphere could produce the northern lights.

Here is an image of the sun today. You can see several sunspot clusters as the sunspots become more active heading toward the sun cycle maximum a few years from now.

cme

Image of sun on Monday morning, October 3, 2022 (NASA)

The Kp forecast now is for a Kp of six, which can produce northern lights as far south as the dark, open spots of southern Michigan.

kp forecast

Forecast of Kp Index shows Kp of six forecast from 8 p.m. Monday, October 3 to 2 a.m. Tuesday, October 4.

The timing of the expected strongest Kp Index is 8 p.m. tonight to 2 a.m. tonight (early Tuesday morning).

Watch for more updates here this evening. We may not get an update until 45 minutes before northern lights are possible. The only measuring point NOAA has will give us the signal for northern lights only just that short 45 minutes before arrival of the CMEs at Earth’s atmosphere.

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