Solar Flare and Northern Lights Tonight February 17th

Solar flares February 17 2011

Massive solar flares erupting for nearly a week could cause spectacular aurora tonight, February 17th, 2011, and through the weekend.  As a result, Northern Lights could be visible as far south in the U.S. as Washington, DC.

According to authorities, the solar flares are already causing communications disruptions in China.  The flares effected short-wave radio communications in southern China.

Scientists are calling it the strongest flare in four years. The flares are being released from a sunspot more than 62,000 miles across, or eight times the width of the earth.

X-class flares can cause radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms.

A major solar disruption in 1973 left six million people in the dark in the east central part of the province of Quebec, Canada.

If you live in northern regions and have a clear night, you may want to grab a lawnchair and keep and stay up for the show.

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