Northern Lights Creep Into Texas Skies

Lights may still be visible Tuesday

By Frank Heinz
|  Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011  |  Updated 2:42 PM CDT
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Northern Lights Creep Into Texas Skies

This shot is from Potomac, Maryland, but similar sights were visible in parts of North Texas.

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Numerous reports were received of strange lights in the sky across North Texas, as well as much of the southeastern United States Monday night, as the Northern Lights made a rare appearance in the southern sky.

A coronal mass ejection on Saturday arrived Monday and, according to a report on SpaceWeather.com, strongly compressed the Earth's magnetic field and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm -- the source of the lights.

Auroras were reported in the common greens but also the more rare reds as far south as Texas and stretching from California to Maine. 

Red auroras occur much higher in the atmosphere, between 180 and 300 miles above the surface.  The normal green auroras occur about 60 miles above the surface.

While the storm is subsiding, it is possible that skywatchers may see more auroras Tuesday night.  Keep looking up.

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