If you missed last night’s color blowout in the sky from the Northern Lights, you may get another chance tonight and tomorrow night. If your astronomy is a little rusty, here’s a simple description of what’s behind them:
The lights are caused when solar flares pulse energy into space, a solar wind of gases is pulled into the atmosphere at the earth’s poles by the planet’s magnetic field. Widely dispersed oxygen atoms become ionized and in this excited state, illuminate the gases. The different colors are caused by different compositions of gases, according to experts.
According to one lucky viewer in Greeley:
“We have seen blues and greens and reds and at one point it seemed to drift right over the top of us. My kids are in such awe.”