June 20, 2024

If you reside in the far northern United States, keep an eye on the sky on Wednesday night: It could be a rare sighting of the northern lights, often known as the aurora borealis.

According to AccuWeather, coronal mass ejections—clouds of charged particles—have been hurled into the solar system by recent eruptions on the surface of the sun.

According to Brian Lada of AccuWeather, “these clouds of particles are projected to collide with Earth’s magnetic field on Wednesday night into Thursday, generating stunning displays of the aurora.”

The typical appearance of an aurora is a curtain of rippling green, crimson, or purple light.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, geomagnetic storms like these can also harm infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on the surface, potentially impairing radio and satellite operations, the electrical grid, communications, and navigation.