Northern lights may be visible in Maine

Posted Aug. 02, 2010, at 5:56 p.m.
In this x-ray photo provided by NASA, the sun is shown early in the morning of Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. The dark arc near the top right edge of the image is a filament of plasma blasting off the surface _ part of the coronal mass ejection. The bright region is an unassociated solar flare. When particles from the eruption reach Earth on the evening of Aug. 3-4, they may trigger a brilliant auroral display known as the Northern Lights. (AP Photo/NASA)
AP
In this x-ray photo provided by NASA, the sun is shown early in the morning of Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. The dark arc near the top right edge of the image is a filament of plasma blasting off the surface _ part of the coronal mass ejection. The bright region is an unassociated solar flare. When particles from the eruption reach Earth on the evening of Aug. 3-4, they may trigger a brilliant auroral display known as the Northern Lights. (AP Photo/NASA)

WASHINGTON — The sun may be about to put on a colorful light show.

That’s because of two minor solar storms that flared on Sunday and are shooting tons of plasma directly at Earth.

Scientists said residents of northern regions — from Maine to Michigan and anywhere farther north around the globe — may see unusual northern lights.

Usually only regions closer to the Arctic can see the aurora of rippling reds and greens, but solar storms pull them south.

The federal Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., said the plasma likely will arrive late Tuesday night or early Wednesday. The storms are not much of a threat to satellites or power grids.

Until recently, the sun was in a phase with few storms.

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