Viewing the Northern Lights in person is on the bucket lists of many, with dreams of visiting such Arctic regions as Scandinavia, or Alaska as the ideal destinations to catch the elusive Aurora Borealis.
There may not be a need to pack your bags! Scientists say that a geomagnetic storm promises a spectacular Northern Lights show that Americans living in northern states like Michigan, or Minnesota can view on Sunday night July 16.
According to Fox 8 Cleveland, the NOAA Space weather Prediction Center has announced that the Northern Lights may be visible “as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington State.” The hours that the lights should be visible is between 11 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, to 2 a.m. Monday morning, eastern time. And again between 2 a.m. Monday morning, eastern time, and 5 a.m. Monday morning, eastern time.
What causes the Northern Lights? Electrically charged particles, from the sun, collide with gaseous particles in the earth’s atmosphere. The result is a magical dance in the sky. Most of the time, the color is neon green, but often, there is purple and fuchsia mixed in with the green, creating a sort of nocturnal rainbow. The lights can be puffy waves, or the whole sky can light up in a colorful symphony.
Those who want to try to attempt to see the lights must have a clear night. Looking into the horizon makes it easier to view the lights. The Northern Lights can appear in any direction, so moving around a bit helps to pinpoint and view the amazing lights.
Normally, summer is not an ideal time to view the Northern Lights because the ideal places to see the dancing lights are experiencing Midnight Sun, so the lights would not be visible. Generally, the ideal period to view lights in the Arctic is from September through March.
Normally, the more north you venture, towards the magnetic poles, the better the odds of seeing the lights. Right now, those in Alaska and Scandinavia have to wait until late August before the night is dark enough to see the gorgeous lights.
Are you planning on viewing the Northern Lights Sunday night?
[Featured Image by Tom McShane/Jägermeister via Getty Images]