Take a look at the spectacular Northern Light show that graced the Old Dominion on Thursday night

Cheryl E Preston

The Northern LightsPhoto byAurora Borealis Youtube screenshot

The Northern light show was spectacular

The closest I have ever been to seeing the Northern Lights is in the holiday movie Polar Express. On Thursday night March 23, however, they could be seen in Virginia and surrounding areas. If like me you missed this beautiful site you can watch videos that were taken that are shared here. WTOP News is reporting that the spectacle lit up the skies and may possibly be seen again on Friday if the weather permits.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center issued alerts throughout the evening for ongoing G3 and G4 (severe) Geomagnetic Storms. For the G4 Alert issued just after midnight, NOAA stated, “Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as Alabama and Northern California

Aurora Borealis origin

The Northern Lights are an atmospheric phenomenon of exotic dancing lights in the sky also known as the Aurora Borealis that are considered to be pretty violent. This happens when energized particles from the sun slam into Earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph but there is no need to worry because our planet's magnetic field protects us from the vicious onslaught. 

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei is the one who came up with the name "aurora borealis" in 1619 in honor of Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, and Boreas the Greek god of the north wind. As the Earth's magnetic field redirects the particles toward the poles — 

there are also southern lights, and the dramatic process transforms into a cinematic atmospheric phenomenon that dazzles and fascinates scientists and skywatchers alike.

The next sightings of aurora borealis

If you would like to keep up with when the next sighting of the Northern Lights will appear this Facebook Group was set up to give updates.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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