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To Star Gazers: Fireworks Show Called Northern Lights Coming

Wade Kitner looks at the northern lights as he fishes in Ventura, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.  A fireworks show that has nothing to do with the Fourth of July and everything to do with the cosmos is poised to be visible across the northern United States and Europe just in time for the Halloween weekend, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (Arian Schuessler, The Globe Gazette via AP, File)
Wade Kitner looks at the northern lights as he fishes in Ventura, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. A fireworks show that has nothing to do with the Fourth of July and everything to do with the cosmos is poised to be visible across the northern United States and Europe just in time for the Halloween weekend, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (Arian Schuessler, The Globe Gazette via AP, File)

Chicago (AP) -- A fireworks show that has nothing to do with the Fourth of July and everything to do with the cosmos is poised to be visible across the northern United States and Europe just in time for Halloween.

On Thursday, the sun launched what is called an “X-class solar flare" that was strong enough to spark a high-frequency radio blackout across parts of South America. The energy from that flare is trailed by a cluster of solar plasma and other material called a coronal mass ejection, or CME for short. That's heading toward Earth, prompting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to issue a warning about a potentially strong geomagnetic storm.