Strongest Solar Storm in 7 Years Today and Tonight; Some May See Aurora Borealis Overhead


The Aurora Borealis, known as the Northern Lights, have been visible over Scotland and large parts of northern England. Report by Sophie Foster.

The largest solar storm in seven years is expected to send solar wind and a shower of radioactive solar particles at the Earth at almost 1,400 miles — possibly peaking tonight and early tomorrow.

Solar flares release up to a billion tons of matter and may cause unusually large display of auroras, which may be visible at lower latitudes than normal. The aurora displays in England and Scottland were seen at about 50° to 53° latitude. Chicagoland is at a lower latitude of about 41°.

Unfortunately, the local weather forecast has changed to mostly cloudy for Chicagoland overnight, so the Aurora are not likely to be seen. Unless it lights up some clouds.

The Statistical Auroral Oval gives an idea where the strongest aurora display may be. The red arrow displays high noon on earth. Click the image for the current activity.

Compilation of Jan 20-22, 2012 Aurora Borealis, shot in time lapse using a Nikon D700 in Arctic Village, Alaska. Music composed and performed by Quinn Mason, a 9th grade student from Dallas, Texas.

Time lapse from Aurora Sky Station ( is an Amazon Associate website, which means that a small percentage of your purchases gets paid to at no extra cost to you. When you use the search boxes above, any Amazon banner ad, or any product associated with an Amazon banner on this website, you help pay expenses related to maintaining and creating new services and ideas for a resourceful website. See more info at

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