New Aurora Pictures: Solar Storms Trigger Northern Lights
by National Geo staff
Northern lights dance over the Lyngan Alps in a picture taken Tuesday night near Tromsø, Norway. The brilliant auroras were triggered by a coronal mass ejection, or CME, that hit our planet Tuesday morning. A CME is a cloud of superheated gas and charged particles hurled off the sun.
When a CME hits Earth, the charged solar particles can interact with gases in our atmosphere to produce the northern and southern lights. Sky-watchers were put on alert for intense auroras Tuesday night through Wednesday morning…