20 Aug 2014
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'Shimmering Green Curtains of Light?' Maybe Tonight in Swampscott

The northern lights might be visible tonight.

'Shimmering Green Curtains of Light?' Maybe Tonight in Swampscott

Space weather forecasters think tonight might make prime Aurora Borealis — northern lights — watching in the Boston area.

The lights arise from charged particles colliding with atoms. They cast a shimmering light, often green, in the night sky in Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Sometimes a geomagnetic storm will expand the northern lights to lower latitudes, says forecaster Joe Kunches, speaking on the Weather Channel.

He said that earlier this week the sun let loose a solar flare.

The flare may shake the earth's magnetic field enough to result in skywatchers seeing Aurora Borealis displays in parts unaccustomed to the dancing, "shimmering green curtains of light," he said. 

To plot the locations where solar winds and Earth's magnetic force interact visit this NOAA site.

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