Northern Lights may be visible Sunday night in Puget Sound area

Northern lights

Here's what that means and how that happens.

The event is courtesy of a solar flare, which erupted out of a sunspot late Thursday into early Friday.

The sunspot has released a stream of particles through a coronal mass ejection.

As that geomagnetic energy, known as a coronal mass ejection, hits Earth it likely will trigger the northern lights.

We are now under a "Geomagnetic Storm Watch" for July 16-17!

More news: Anger And Emotion Over Disqualification Of Lawmakers

The weather forecast for Sunday night offers a good chance of mostly clear skies, but with the possibility of some rain. The phenomenon is created by "collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere", according to the Northern Lights Centre website.

He will be tracking the potential on KIRO 7 News starting Sunday night at 5 p.m. and continuing at 6:30 and 11 p.m. Variations in the color of the lights are due to the different types of gas particles.

Peak viewing time will be from around midnight to 3 a.m., but aurora can potentially be seen through most of the overnight hours.

The aurora could be visible as far south as the green or yellow lines on this map.

If you can find locations without a lot of street light, such as Spanish Banks or the top of Burnaby Mountain, you might get a better view. Look north any time after sunset. Remember, how vibrant a display will be is highly unpredictable.

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