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(CNN) — Attention, Earthlings: The sun is spewing plasma toward you, and the results could be beautiful.

Stargazers looking to the sky late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning could see northern lights, or aurorae. According to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the potential light show started Sunday, when the sun’s surface erupted and hurled tons of ionized atoms — or plasma — into space.

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“This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th,” said astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “It’s the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time.”

When such an expulsion reaches Earth, it interacts with the planet’s magnetic field and can create a geomagnetic storm, the CfA said. Solar particles stream down the field lines toward Earth’s poles. Those particles crash with atoms of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere, which then glow like little neon signs.

Sky watchers in the northern U.S. and other countries should look toward the north late Tuesday or early Wednesday for rippling “curtains” of green and red light, the CfA said.

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  1. Cassie
    August 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Damn it being overcast.

  2. Katherine
    August 3, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve never seen the Northern lights but would LOVE to see them. I remember as a child writing in to “You Asked for It” stating I would love to know more about the Northern Lights. It actually made it on the show… 🙂

  3. zezebel
    August 3, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Its suppose to be today?
    I love to look upon the sky at night but I don’t know how to take picture of them. *sigh*

  4. captain america
    captain americaReply
    August 4, 2010 at 6:21 am

    this is similare to the united states: AS FAKE AS HELL!!

  5. Nicole
    August 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    It was too overcast last night to see anything. The last time I saw them was when my daughter was a baby.

    • sangfroid
      August 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      I know we had a hammering thunderstorm right at when the effect would have been at it’s height. Charlotte did hide in the back bedroom before it started though. (she’s not afraid of storms) so maybe it’s true about animals sensing sun spots.

  6. david
    August 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm


  7. Acadia
    August 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm



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