Because of a geomagnetic storm, Northern Lights are going to creep their way as far south as Virginia.
According to NPR, storms on the sun pulling on Earth’s magnetic field cause the Northern Lights. This then causes what’s known as Alfven waves which throw electrons into Earth’s atmosphere. This causes the colorful lights in the sky.
Because of the severity of the current geomagnetic storm, the aurora will be seen farther south than usual. The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks says the low-lying aurora can be seen as far as “Salem, Boise, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Indianapolis and Annapolis.”
So, if you’re in any of those places, or anywhere farther north, keep your eyes peeled tonight, Monday, for an incredible sight.
Fireball Caught on Camera in Colorado
Last week, another aerial phenomenon lit up the sky so bright residents saw it clear across Colorado and into Wyoming and New Mexico. A fireball streaked across the Colorado sky, caught on a resident’s doorbell camera.
There’s a bright line in the night sky, and then a blue flash as the fireball breaks up and lands in pieces. According to the American Meteor Society, fireballs and meteors break up and burn as soon as they hit the atmosphere. This is what produces the bright flash of light.
The AMS gets reports of fireballs multiple times a day, but claims most of the reports are of contrails instead. Contrails, in comparison, consist of water vapor and exhaust from jet engines. The sun shines on these lines of vapor and gas and creates the fiery streaks in the sky. Most fireballs go unnoticed because they often happen during the day.
Far From Northern Lights: NASA Researching Trojan Asteroids
Far above the atmosphere, way out in space, traveling around Jupiter, are the Trojan asteroids. On October 16, NASA will launch a probe to Jupiter to study how they formed and possibly give us insight on how the planets evolved. NASA named the probe Lucy, after the Australopithecus skeleton fragments found in Ethiopia in 1974.
Lucy will actually come back to Earth’s orbit for “gravity assists,” which makes it the first long-range spacecraft to return to Earth.
Tom Statler, project scientist, stated, “With Lucy, we’re going to eight never-before-seen asteroids in 12 years with a single spacecraft. This is a fantastic opportunity for discovery as we probe into our solar system’s distant past.”
The cluster of asteroids in front of Jupiter is the largest, with 65% of the 4,800 known formations falling into that group. The rest make up the back cluster. The clusters are sometimes referred to as the Trojan and Greek camps, after The Iliad.
The probe launches from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 5:30 am on October 16.