Solar Storms Trigger Northern Lights
Adam Rifkin stashed this in The Universe
Photograph by Ole C. Salomonsen, arcticlightphoto.no
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.