If you were watching the skies on St. Patrick’s Day, you might have noticed that it wasn’t just the the beer turning green.
For the last few days a disturbance in earth’s geomagnetic field has pushed the hauntingly beautiful Northern Lights much farther south. Lucky stargazers from as far as Toronto have observed and photographed the phenomenon. But apparently we won’t be privy to this rare opportunity for much longer.
The “southern” lights were caused by a solar eruption on Sunday, and the resulting solar storm which disturbed the particles in the earth’s field hit on Tuesday at about 10 a.m.
Larisa Trichtchenko, a Space Weather Canada forecaster explains: “This disturbance from the Sun, which also has some inherited pieces of magnetic field from the Sun, it propagates though interplanetary space and then it hits the Earth’s magnetic field.”
If you hope to catch a glimpse of this amazing phenomenon, try to find an area with very few light sources, which can easily blot out the remarkable patterns in the sky. The lights will apparently start winding down Wednesday night, but may still be visible Thursday after sunset. Happy hunting!
In the meantime, enjoy these images of one of nature’s most haunting and beautiful displays.