'Dazzling displays': Aurora borealis might be visible across northern US tonight

Keep an eye on the skies on Wednesday evening if you live in the far north of the US: the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, may be an infrequent occurrence.
According to AccuWeather, recent explosions on the Sun's surface have ejected clouds of charged particles known as coronal mass ejections across the Solar System.
"These clouds of particles are expected to collide with Earth's magnetic field on Wednesday night into Thursday night, creating a dazzling aurora," said AccuWeather's Brian Lada.
Auroras typically appear as rippling curtains of green, red, or purple light.
Geomagnetic storms like these can also affect infrastructure in low Earth orbit and on the surface, potentially disrupting communications, the power grid, navigation, and radio and satellite operations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
AURORA HISTORY: About 2,700 years ago, an unusually powerful solar storm swept past Earth
But such disruptions are unlikely in this event, Lada said.
Issued geomagnetic storm watch
NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center issued a G3 (strong) geomagnetic storm watch through Thursday. This is the third tier of NOAA's five-tier geomagnetic storm scale. (G1 storms are minor; G5 storms are considered extreme.)
The Northern Lights in Norway.
The storms can push the aurora further south from its usual position over the polar region. Auroras for this storm can be visible as far away as Pennsylvania, Iowa and Oregon in favorable weather conditions, NOAA reported.
Earthsky.org said people in cities like Minneapolis and Milwaukee could see the aurora directly overhead, while cities like Lincoln, Nebraska, Indianapolis and Annapolis, Maryland could see them on the northern horizon.
AURORA SCIENCE: New type of aurora nicknamed 'the Dunes' discovered by citizen scientists in Finland
Southern lights visible Down Under
The Southern Lights, known as the Aurora Australis, can also be visible in extreme southern parts of the world like Australia.
Another northern lights round is possible Thursday night, although the aurora glow likely won't be visible as far south as Wednesday night, AccuWeather said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Aurora borealis could be visible in northern US tonight

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