A brilliant light-show will be visible tonight and tomorrow night in the Northern Hemisphere after two massive solar flares erupted this week. Blasts of charged particles, called coronal mass ejections or CMEs, were unleashed by a pair of solar flares — explosions from the surface of the sun on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both solar flares erupted from a sunspot called AR2158. Sunspots are darker, cooler areas of the sun where solar flares generally erupt.
The Northern Lights should be seen as far south as Philadelphia. The best chance of strong northern lights displays along the northern U.S. states will be Friday night. “The most intense storming is expected tomorrow, Friday night into Saturday morning,” William Murtagh, program coordinator for the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, said. CMEs can also sometimes disrupt electronic communication and power grids, so you may want to power down your laptop.