Solar Flare May Mean Aurora Lights in Oregon, Coast
See the Updated Story: Latest on Solar Flare, Northern Lights Possibilities in Oregon, the Coast
(Portland, Oregon) - NOAA and other space weather and Earthbound meteorologists are talking about a large coronal mass ejection (CME) that took place around 5:30 p.m. earlier tonight. This is the technical term for a solar flare, and it means the possibility of some stunning sights in the night skies. (Above: hints of the Aurora Borealis at Manzanita two weeks ago).
“A flash of extreme UV radiation from the flare ionized Earth's upper atmosphere and created a brief HF radio blackout on the sunlit side of the planet,” the web magazine said.
KATU's Dave Salesky and other experts are saying to stay tuned for updates, and that there is a possibility of seeing the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis. Salesky hinted this could be seen in Oregon.
If the skies are clear enough - perhaps the Oregon coast as well. Skies will be clear on the beaches later in the weekend, so timing will also be a big factor.
The CME came from the Earth-facing sunspot AR1877. It was considered a sizable ejection, categorized as M9, which is in the high end of the moderate flares.
There is no firm word on when or where any Northern Lights would appear - if that happens. Oregon Coast Beach Connection will have updates on this later on Thursday afternoon.
More about the Oregon coast below, including other photos of the region at night and Aurora Borealis near the coast range. More about Oregon coast science and astronomy here.
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