Expect spectacular auroras up until about the June 10 in some lucky parts of the northern and southern sky. On Tuesday this week, NASA observed and recorded the biggest solar flare for a long time. The extraordinarily massive and stunning explosion from the sun will most likely create spectacular auroras.
This magnificent displays of light in northern latitudes is known as Aurora Borealis, or more commonly, Northern Lights.
An aurora occurs when charged particles, which are directed by the magnetic field of the Earth, collide. This results in the release of energy into the atmosphere that takes the form of colorful and awe-inspiring lights.
Auroras light up the northern horizon as they spread their greenish blaze that sometimes fades towards red shades.
The solar flare 2011 is expected to go on for three nights. Apart from the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, there should also be Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights.
According to the Geophysical Institute of University of Alaska Fairbanks, the auroral zone will be primarily observable in North America, as the sun will illuminate almost the entire auroral zone in Scandinavia and Russia.
Observable auroral activities are forecast for Thursday and Friday nights above Yellowknife, Inuvik, Igaluit, Rankin and the nearby areas. Apparently it might be faintly visible on the horizon from Des Moines, Seattle, Cleveland, Chicago, Halifax and Boston on Thursday, and Calgary, Prince Rupert, Bemidji, Minot, Stevens Point, and Quebec City on Friday. The Northern lights are best viewed in clear and dark skies.
If you are lucky enough to see the lights and want to photograph them, all you need is a digital camera and a tripod. Keep the lens wide open and change the setting to infinity. For best results, apparently it’s best to set the exposure rates to between 5 and10 seconds. Happy snapping!