Aurora coupleFEA

Valentine’s Night Aurora May Melt Your Heart

A CME leaves the sun around 5:30 p.m. CST on Feb. 11 in this photo taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. A disk blocks the sun from view, so we can see the CME - a partial wreath of expanding tendrils around and just above the disk. The white circle is the sun's location. Credit: NASA/ESA
A CME leaves the sun around 5:30 p.m. CST on Feb. 11 in this photo taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. A disk blocks the sun from view, so we can see the CME, a partial wreath of puffy tendrils around and just above the disk. The white circle is the sun’s location. Credit: NASA/ESA

Good news if you’re looking for a last minute Valentine’s Day gift. An explosive coronal mass ejection (CME) on late on Feb. 11 sent a cloud of high-speed, flea-like electrons and protons toward Earth. They’re expected to get here late tomorrow afternoon and spark a minor display of the northern lights. This will probably be visible from only the northern states and Canada assuming the forecast holds true.

Because the aurora’s predicted to be best from dusk through about midnight, you can take your sweetie out for a look right after dinner. You’ll need a clear and open sky to the north and plenty of warm clothing. Snuggling highly recommended.