The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, is the rippling night-sky light display found at the northernmost reaches of the Earth. The south has a corresponding aurora australis, also known as the southern lights. The northern and southern auroras occur when charged particles released by the sun, called the solar wind, are guided along the Earth's magnetic field to its poles and interact with particles in the upper atmosphere there.
A massive "hole" on the surface of the sun has unleashed a strong solar wind that scientists say may amp up the northern lights in some areas of the U.S. and could disrupt satellite communications over the next few days.
A minor solar storm will reach Earth Wednesday (March 14) and could supercharge the planet's auroras, making them visible from the northernmost parts of the U.S., space weather officials say.