Auroras may light up the night sky this Labor Day weekend
A solar storm's impact could trigger northern lights as far south as Seattle and New York. Here's how to watch.
Just as menacing Hurricane Dorian is wreaking havoc in the Atlantic Ocean, an incoming solar tempest may trigger colorful displays of northern lights over the next few nights. Auroras could easily spill across the United States to places like Washington, Minnesota, and New York and even in more southerly states.
This past week, a monster-sized hole in the solar corona—the upper atmosphere of the sun— cracked open, releasing an intense gust of charged particles called the solar wind. The fast-moving cloud has been racing through the inner solar system at speeds of two million miles an hour, with Earth in the center of its path. It’s now expected to lash Earth between August 31 and September 1.