Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Northern Lights






A solar storm, which has been forecasted on Thursday, is likely to give sky gazers an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights that occur when solar wind hits the atmosphere. The phenomenon is likely to occur in 17 American states, including three in New England.

Northern Lights, also called as aurora borealis, are often witnessed in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia, however, the 11-year solar cycle which is expected to peak in 2024 will make the lights visible in the south.

The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks made a forecast about the auroral activity for the regions on Thursday in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

As per the forecast, if the weather conditions remain favourable, the northern lights will surely illuminate the night skies in the northern regions of these US states - Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Indiana, Maine and Maryland.

The report published by the UAF Institute states, “Auroral activity will be high(+). Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Vancouver, Helena, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Bay City, Toronto, Montpelier, and Charlottetown, and visible low on the horizon from Salem, Boise, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Indianapolis and Annapolis.”

When to view Aurora Borealis in the night sky

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Centre stated that people, who are planning to experience an aurora borealis, should move away from city lights and added that the best time to view the phenomenon is between 10 pm and 2 am local time.

The visibility and brightness of the aurora borealis significantly depend on the level of geomagnetic activity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be monitoring the activity closely as the date approaches. NOAA will be publishing its own forecast for assisting potential viewers.





  1. I was on a military training mission in Alaska when I saw the aurora borealis. It was a check mark on the bucket list. I am 62 and have about 80% check off.

  2. We can't often see the aurora in summertime, since the skies don't really get dark. But I'm happy that a lot of people who don't normally get such a chance, will be able to see the display. It's worth getting up in the wee hours to enjoy.