Northern Lights to be visible in these 17 US states next week: Rare opportunity! | Travel - Hindustan Times

Northern Lights to be visible in 17 US states next week: A guide to witnessing the alluring Aurora Borealis!

ByVrinda Rastogi
Jul 08, 2023 04:20 PM IST

Forecasts suggest that aurora borealis will be visible over 17 states in the US. Find a viewing guide here!

Many dream of witnessing the Northern Lights and their dream might be fulfilled next week! The aurora borealis is expected to be visible in 17 US states on Thursday, July 13.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet took to Twitter to share the picture of aurora.(Twitter/@Thom_astro)
Astronaut Thomas Pesquet took to Twitter to share the picture of aurora.(Twitter/@Thom_astro)

The states are as follows:

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  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • Washington
  • Vermont
  • Idaho
  • Massachusetts
  • Wyoming
  • Indiana.

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According to Recent forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, a surge in auroral activity has been predicted on Thursday night, July 13. This presents a rare opportunity to witness this enchanting light visual in several parts of the United States and Canada.

Provided the weather conditions remain favourable, the forecasts suggest that the northern lights could illuminate the night skies in the northern regions of 17 U.S. states.

Reports from the UAF institute state, “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”.

How and When to View Aurora Borealis

For the fortunate ones in the aforementioned regions, Space Weather Prediction Center has reported the ideal window for viewing the northern lights to be between 10 pm and 2 am local time. Moving away from the city lights is advisable to escape light pollution for a brighter and clearer view.

The brightness and visibility of the aurora are significantly dependent on the level of geomagnetic activity. As the anticipated date approaches, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be closely monitoring the activity. NOAA will release its own forecast to assist any potential viewers.

Previously, the last major light event in the US occurred in late April. During a geomagnetic storm, the aurora was visible in 30 US states. Next week’s aurora will provide another rare glimpse of the ethereal celestial phenomenon.

What is an Aurora Borealis

The northern lights are an awe-inspiring natural fantasy. “Aurora is the name given to the glow or light produced when electrons from space flow down Earth’s magnetic field and collide with atoms and molecules of the upper atmosphere in a ring or oval centred on the magnetic pole of Earth,” explains the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

The Latin term ‘aurora’ means ‘dawn. There are two types of auroras–aurora borealis and aurora australis. Borealis is Latin for ‘North’, thus, aurora borealis are the northern lights. On the other hand, ‘australis’ means ‘South’ Latin. Therefore, aurora australis are the southern lights.

The phenomenon is a brilliant natural display of lights. The vibrant, captivating colours range from green, red, yellow, blue, and violet.

Also Read | Passenger witnesses northern lights from a plane. Watch

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