Northern lights might be visible in the US late tonight


Websearch on “space weather aurora” turns up some good resources for understanding what’s visible in the night sky.

Looking at the link, I am still not sure how late I would need to stay up here in Colorado to see this…

It looks like I fall into the range of “low on the horizon” visibility (presuming that’s what the area inside the green line, but not shaded in, means)… But I’m not sure there’s anywhere local to me (around Toronto) where there’d be a dark enough sky to see it.

From the Denver Post:

Thanks to the sun setting early, the show should begin after it’s dark, but the most vibrant display will be an hour before or after midnight, statistics show, Kunches said.

The best place to go in Denver is anywhere away from lights.

“Look to the north, low on the horizon,” Kunches said.

Another news article suggests midnight to dawn.

This may also be useful tonight: I am not sure how accurate it is, but it is apparently run by Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The best place to go is anywhere away from a city’s skyglow.

I thought @edgore was asking when, not where. I would think that away from city lights would be sort of obvious, but that tells you nothing about the best time to go looking.

It was when - though since I live in a light polluted area, I am guessing my chances are slim…

When… Hard to predict how it will fluctuate, but I’ve heard “best bet is midnight to 1AM”. Which would sorta make sense, given the combination of darkest part of the night and the earth’s motion carrying you faster into the particle stream (and thus increasing how hard it’s hitting)…

Caveat: I Am Not A Rocket Scientist.

I’m guessing I’m too late but if not take pictures with a digital camera. The sensor is more sensitive to the aurora and will show what your eyes can’t see as well.

The aurora hunters in Norway use this method when it’s not obvious

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2014-01-10 12:02 UTC Space Weather Update

The coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the R3 (Strong) Solar Flare Radio Blackout event from January 7th appears to have only had minor effects on Earth. Initial indications of a weak structure held true for the remainder of the period and the anticipated geomagnetic storming never materialized. While increased activity is still possible, it now appears improbable. The ongoing Solar Radiation Storm remains near the S2 (Moderate) threshold, but continues its trend towards background levels. Region 1944 had no significant flaring and continues to exhibit signs of decay. Updates here as conditions warrant.

There’s no way I could have gotten far enough out of the city in the middle of the night to see it anyway. I’m sleep-deprived enough as it is.

Our dawn was interesting, however; one of my kids said “not a good day to go sailing” which made me wonder about her sanity, but then she told me to look at the sky. Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. So maybe that was a slight effect?

And yes, the little ditty was accurate: they’re predicting rain all afternoon, evening and night. +40º temps, a few days after -40º temps, with a couple feet of hard-packed snow everywhere. This is not going to be pretty. A colorful sky would have been the silver lining, but NOOOOO. Thanks a lot, Sun.

Welp. My wife and I climbed onto our frigid roof in Cambridge, where we knew we had no chance of seeing anything, and so oohed and aahhed at all the pretty lights in our heads as we imagined what we could be seeing. Then I told her how happy I was that I got to finally see the Northern Lights with her.

Since I’ve read all the research on how easy it is to accidentally fake memories, I’m pretty sure now that some time when we’re both in our eighties, she’s going to turn to me and say “Didn’t you want to see the Northern Lights some time before you die?”, and I’m going to say “We did, remember? Up on our roof in Cambridge while the baby slept inside.


Well, turns out it was cloudy here last night any way. So even if I could have gone out to look for them, I wouldn’t have been able to see them any way.

Wasn’t cloudy here in SW CO, but even without any light pollution, that big rock up in the sky was pretty bright…didn’t see any pretty lights. I had a few good whiskey gingers though.

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