You Might Be Able to See an Aurora TONIGHT!

Credit: Stephane Vetter (Nuits sacrees)

UPDATE: There is an even stronger geomagnetic storm today, Jan 2nd. (Giving you a better chance of seeing an aurora)

You might have the rare opportunity to see an aurora due to the geomagnetic storm that reached earth today, December 31st.  It could be seen as far south as 50 degrees geomagnetic latitude, says the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The cities along the Canada-U.S. border and farther north will have the rare chance to see the Aurora Borealis, but people as far away as Seattle, Oregon, and Illinois may also be able to see it if the conditions are right.  The best time for viewing should be midnight and after.

A geomagnetic storm is caused by gas that is discharged by the sun, otherwise known as a coronal mass ejection.  This happened on Dec. 28th and the gas reached earth today, Wednesday, which, if mixed with the atmosphere, will produce an Aurora Borealis.  (According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather prediction center)

“The effects are strongest around the magnetic poles of the Earth, with the magnetic North Pole being in northern Canada,” said Piet Martens, a physicist at Georgia State University.

Because of the ideal conditions there, people who live in the territories and northern regions of some provinces are often treated to beautiful aurora displays.  But it’s rare that the Northern Lights are on view in Canada’s south.

If you happen to miss out tonight and tomorrow, the space weather agency is predicting an even stronger storm on Jan. 2nd!  Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Use the share buttons below to let your friends and family know about this rare event!

Tips: Get away from light pollution (headlights,streetlights), Dim your phone screen, and look north.

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