We know what you’re thinking: “Oh, great! Another attention-grabbing story on how I’ll be able to see the Northern Lights this week from [insert name of heavily light polluted city]. So just to start things off: No. You probably won’t be able to see the aurora borealis tomorrow night from your fire escape on 13th Street. However, there is a chance you will actually be able to see them from a few regions just outside the city.
The unique event is all thanks to the biggest solar storm of 2020 which is predicted to happen this week. The Space Weather Prediction Center (a real organization) has issued G1, G2 and G3 storm alerts for both tonight and tomorrow night. The alerts have to do with the amount of solar activity predicted to hit Earth which then create the beautiful light displays. Similar to your standard sip n’ paint, greater levels of energy mean more colorful and beautiful displays.
The Northern Lights will be on view across the largest area tomorrow night when a G3 geomagnetic storm watch will be in effect. Though SWPC hasn’t released a detailed predicted viewing range for this week’s event, a similar one released in September included parts of New York and New England. This week, the forecast is looking a bit more promising than the skies during that last September event.
Want to increase your chances for viewing the lights? In order to spot the celestial light show, you’ll want to look north, a little above the horizon. If you see a faint green glow just above the horizon, that’s the Aurora Borealis. Not surprisingly, given the name, the farther North you’re able to get, the greater your likelihood of seeing the lights. They are expected to light up the next sky between 10pm and 5am tonight and once again tomorrow night.
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