Northern Colorado to See More of the Northern Lights – Is That a Good Thing?
It was in late February of 2023, that many people were kind of shocked that we were able to see the Northern Lights while being in Northern Colorado. While that's not normally the situation, things point to us being able to, more.
Many people make plans to take an Alaskan cruise so that they can get a look at the natural phenomenon, the aurora borealis; in the coming span of nearly two years, the Fort Collins area could very well be seeing it so often that it becomes boring.
When the sun ejects charged particles towards Earth, those particles get deflected by our atmosphere towards the north pole and towards the south pole. That deflecting going on is what produces the wonderful-looking lights that we see. Colorado is pretty far from the north pole, that's true, but there's something different happening this time around.
According to Longmont's Times-Call and NOAA out of Boulder, the sun is currently in one of its phases, which it does every 11 years, where its magnetic poles flip. Halfway through this "flip" will be happening in the latter part of 2024 or in early 2025. During that point, the ejections from the sun will be strong; NOAA says that they are already seeing higher levels than predicted.
THE GOOD THING
Sure, with stronger emissions/ejections from the sun, the better the likelihood that we'll be able to see the Northern Lights in Northern Colorado. That could make for some spectacular photos, if you are in the right place and the right time. That's a win.
THE BAD THING
Could these stronger and stronger Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) like sun spots, solar flares and the ejections that cause the Northern Lights, end up shutting down power grids? These CMEs could very well shut own things that we count on. Power grids, navigation and communication systems, could, at the very least, be "disrupted" by powerful sun spots and solar flares.
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9News Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson recently posted his concern about a solar flare that recently happened on the other side of the sun.
Northern Lights visible in Colorado
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