What time to see northern lights tonight and where to see the northern lights?

Curious about catching a glimpse of the mesmerizing northern lights tonight? Wondering where to go for the best viewing experience? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll explore the optimal times for witnessing this celestial spectacle and suggest prime locations for enjoying the northern lights in all their glory. Whether you’re a seasoned aurora chaser or a first-time enthusiast, prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey under the dancing colors of the night sky.

Northern lights map for Saturday night

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center issued a severe geomagnetic storm watch for Friday evening, the first such watch since January 2005. As of Friday afternoon, scientists observed a major disturbance in Earth’s magnetic field, a G4 or severe geomagnetic storm. Conditions indicating the severe geomagnetic storm were first observed at 12:37 p.m. ET. Increased solar activity, as the sun nears the peak of its 11-year cycle, causes auroras known as the northern lights and southern lights. The Space Weather Prediction Center tracked multiple strong flares and observed at least seven coronal mass ejections from a large cluster of sunspots. The peak of the geomagnetic storm activity for Earth could occur between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. ET on Saturday.

Northern lights map for Saturday night
Northern lights map for Saturday night

Northern lights may be visible across parts of the US this weekend. Why are they so active right now?

A series of solar flares and coronal mass ejections from the sun have the potential to create dazzling auroras that may be seen as far south as Alabama and Northern California. The Space Weather Prediction Center’s space weather scale covers three categories: solar flares, geomagnetic storms, and solar radiation storms. The current solar activity is capable of producing a solar radiation storm. The effects of geomagnetic storms include potential disruptions to infrastructure such as communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio, and satellite operations. Operators have been notified to take action to mitigate potential impacts.

Officials said people in the Southern U.S. who can’t see the aurora with their naked eyes could still take some dazzling pictures with their phones.

Brent Gordon of the Space Weather Prediction Center emphasized that cellphones are much better than eyes at capturing light. Geomagnetic storms can impact infrastructure, potentially disrupting communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio, and satellite operations. The center has notified operators to take action to mitigate potential impacts, including increased and more frequent voltage control problems and impacts to satellite operations and GPS degradation. Solar storms can also cause radio blackouts and pose risks for crewed space missions.

Andrew Dickson captured an image of an aurora over Central Otago, South Island of New Zealand, using his iPhone 13 plus with a three-second exposure.

Andrew Dickson lives in a rural area with virtually no light pollution. Depending on the location, auroras may not always be visible overhead, but they may create a colorful display on the horizon. The Space Weather Prediction Center recommends taking images of the sky with your phone because they may capture what you can’t see with the naked eye. Solar storms generated by the sun can cause geomagnetic storm conditions to be ongoing through the weekend.

STARGAZING LIVE northern lights tonight !


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