Halloween Weekend in Montana Will Feature Spooky Northern Lights
This Hallow-eekend is going to feature some spooky lights in the sky. No, I am not talking about an invasion of extraterrestrials. No, I am not talking about the results of an ancient witch's curse. No, I am not talking about a reflection off of Frankenstein's fat head. I am talking about the northern lights. Barring too much cloud cover, we here in Montana may be in for a show this Saturday and Sunday night.
It is crazy to think about the science behind the earth's magnetic poles. Earth is basically one big molten chunk of iron and nickel. That molten metal creates reverse poles, which create the earth's electromagnetic field. It is our electromagnetic field that protects every living creature from radioactive particles in space. Think of it as, what sci-fi movies call, a "force field" or "shield."
According to Wikipedia
Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. These disturbances are sometimes strong enough to alter the trajectories of charged particles in both solar wind and magnetospheric plasma. These particles, mainly electrons and protons, precipitate into the upper atmosphere.
So an aurora is basically the light show that our electromagnetic field puts off when it is fighting off radioactive solar particles. These are measured in what is called a Kp index. On a scale of 0 to 9, the index measures how much geomagnetic activity will happen in the atmosphere.
According to Meteorologist Ryan Dennis of KRTV, we are in for a spooky light show in the skies above Montana.