Courtesy Ryan Uptmor in Derby, KS
Monday, October 24, 2011
The Aurora Borealis is making an unusual visit to the United States. Also known as the Northern Lights, the phenomenon is visible in parts of Kansas.
Researchers say the light show is being caused by a CME or coronal mass ejection. A CME is a massive burst of solar wind.
According to analysts, the CME hit the Earth's magnetic field this afternoon at approximately 1 p.m. The impact caused a strong compression of Earth's magnetic field, allowing solar wind to penetrate all the way down to geosynchronous orbit.
Experts say the best time to view the lights is around midnight. Artificial lights from cities can disrupt the view. Kansas residents viewing the Aurora Borealis describe it as bands of red light moving across the north/northwest horizon.