Hey, guess what? There’s a super cool celestial event happening this week that lots of Americans will get to see! It’s not something you usually see from your own backyard. We’re talking about the Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis.
A strong solar storm is causing the Northern Lights to appear farther south than usual. So, if you live in any of these 17 states – Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Indiana, Maine, or Maryland – you’re in luck! You might just catch a glimpse of this incredible light show.
Cities like Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Helena, Montana, will have a great view of the lights right above them. And if you’re near Salem, Oregon, Boise, Idaho, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Annapolis, Maryland, or Indianapolis, you’ll still be able to see it, but it’ll be lower on the horizon.
The best time to check it out is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time, according to the folks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center. Keep in mind that the further north you are, the better the show will be. The energized particles from the solar storm interact more closely with the Earth’s atmosphere up north, creating those famous green curtains. As you go south, the view might be more reddish and not as dazzling.
Oh, and by the way, this solar storm is part of an 11-year solar cycle that started in 2019 and is expected to peak in 2024. So, enjoy the Northern Lights while you can, and let’s hope for clear skies and a spectacular show!