Northern lights, known for glowing red and green colors, could be visible this week across northern US

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If you live across portions of the northern U.S., keep your eyes to the sky over the next few nights: Barring pesky clouds, you might catch a peek of the northern lights, aka the aurora borealis.

According to, auroras could be sighted in northern-tier U.S. states from Maine to Montana to Washington this week.

The colorful event is courtesy of a solar flare, which erupted out of a sunspot Monday. A coronal mass ejection – a burst of plasma from the sun – is also heading toward the Earth, and it should get here later Wednesday or on Thursday.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center said that the coronal mass ejection will begin interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field late Wednesday. The electromagnetic storm is expected to grow to major status Thursday, extending the area where the northern lights are visible.

So Thursday night might end up being the best night for to see the northern lights.

The center issued a geomagnetic storm watch, saying a Level G3 or “strong” storm is possible here on Earth on Thursday.

The aurora forms when the particles flowing from the sun get caught up in the Earth’s magnetic field. The particles interact with molecules of atmospheric gases to cause the famed glowing red and green colors of the aurora.

The lights are visible in both the far northern and southern parts of the world. The southern lights are known as the aurora australis.

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