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Newstalk

17.21 8 Sep 2017


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Astronomers are urging Irish people to watch the sky tonight, as they might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

The latest aurora borealis has been caused by a huge group of spots on the Sun.

The spots have hurled radiation towards earth, where the radiation 'collides harmlessly' with Earth's upper atmosphere.

Astronomy Ireland's David Moore explains: "This solar radiation makes the Earth's upper atmosphere glow in a process similar to what goes on in fluorescent light tubes, but on a scales of thousands of kilometres."

He described tonight's potential light show as a 'once in a decade event'.

He explained: "Look in the north after sunset. You should at least see an arc of light low in the north, and if the display picks up as expected this could move much higher in the sky.

"In the past, perhaps once a decade, we can even see it overhead from Ireland, when it is an incredible sight!"

It comes only days after NASA reported the most powerful solar flare since 2006.


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