If you are in Canada, or in a few select more northern states in the United States, there is a possibility of seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from December 9th-11th.
There is a potential for increased activity tonight and for the next couple of days due to an inbound coronal mass ejection that accompanied a solar flare. A solar flare is a release of energy on the sun due to a rapid reconfiguration of the magnetic field near sunspots. This burst of energy (radiation) occurs across all wavelengths. A coronal mass ejection is an emission of plasma from the sun. It is these particles that will eventually reach the Earth and potentially ‘rain-down’ into the upper atmosphere treating everyone to a show.Aurorawatch.ca
Here’s a map displaying the areas that they’ll be most visible:
It’s not very frequently that Aurora Borealis can be seen this far south. Meteorologist Mark Tarello in Minnesota is predicting the lights will be seen in the areas of the green and north, on the map above. Depending on your location, and the weather, have a look to see if you can find them over the next few nights.
*Note – If it’s rainy, cloudy, overcast where you are, you likely won’t be able to see them. You need clear lights to really see the Northern Lights shine
*Note – If you live in a metropolitan area, you’ll likely have a hard time with spotting them due to light pollution. This means that if you live in a city, or well-lit town, you might have to drive 5-10 miles outside of the city/town to actually be able to find them. The reflection of street lights, houses, buildings, etc… all drown out the visibility of the Auroras.
If you’ve ever seen them before, finding the Northern Lights is always a special moment, and something you don’t get sick of. If you’ve never seen them before, I promise it’s something you won’t ever forget.
Happy Aurora hunting!