This week, owing to a geomagnetic storm that will affect the atmosphere in the middle of the week, 17 states in the United States may be able to see the Northern Lights.
On Wednesday, viewers in Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, will be able to see the Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis. The KP-index, which measures worldwide auroral activity on a scale of 0 to 9, will be at Kp-5 that evening. A geomagnetic storm will develop if the rating is higher than Kp-5.
The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbank predicts that on Thursday, the aurora will get stronger as the KP-index rises, increasing the visibility of the bright lights.
Here is information on the Northern Lights.
What do Northern Lights mean?
The magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres are often where observers may view the Northern Lights, an astronomical phenomena. This week, observers will be able to view the Northern Lights further south than normal because of the solar storm.
According to the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, the collisions between electrically charged particles streaming out from the sun in the solar wind that reach Earth's atmosphere and hit with gas molecules and atoms, mostly oxygen and nitrogen, are what give rise to the many colors of lights.
These particles emit light, creating a stunning variety of hues in the sky. The hue of the aurora can change based on the location of the collisions, the makeup of the atmosphere, and its density. It is often green.
You might be able to view them how and where.
On July 12 and 13, parts of Washington, Idaho, Vermont, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and Maine will be able to see the aurora borealis, according to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Parts of Canada, including Vancouver, will also be able to see the lights.
Cities like Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Seattle will be able to see the aurora "low on the horizon". The lights will be visible overhead in cities including Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Helena, Montana.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the ideal time to observe the aurora is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time; however, for a better view, individuals should attempt to avoid being near city lights. According to the NOAA, even the full moon's brightness might weaken the aurora. It may be helpful to ascend to higher land since experts encourage people to locate a position with a "unobstructed view" of the north.
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On the NOAA website, anybody may view aurora forecasts.
The Northern Lights were last spotted over 30 states in April, making the approaching storm the fourth solar storm since the beginning of 2019.