Thanks to a plasma eruption that roiled the surface of the sun, residents of the northern US and Canada may be able to enjoy a spectacular show tonight—the Northern Lights. "This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th," an astrophysicist in Cambridge, Mass., tells CNN. "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."
The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, are normally visible only in the Arctic. But the weekend solar storms that initiated the event were so strong that the plasma's collision with Earth's magnetic field, which triggers the phenomenon, will be a big one. "We got a beautiful view of this eruption,’’ the astrophysicist tells the Boston Globe. “And there might be more beautiful views to come, if it triggers aurorae."