Don’t forget to look up tonight!
Seeing the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights, is nearly always somewhere near the top of most people’s bucket lists. The incredible natural phenomenon creates a spectacle that people wait years, even lifetimes, to behold. The only caveat being that to see them clearly you need to venture towards countries closest to the Arctic and Antarctic circles that are, though stunning, extremely cold and often remote.
So what if we told you that the dazzling light spectacle might soon be visible in the New England skies? That trip to Iceland, Northern Canada, Greenland, or Norway might not be as necessary anymore as The Space Weather Prediction Center has predicted geomagnetic storms will likely allow the mystical light show to make a rare appearance in the skies around Boston.
The beautiful aurora borealis could be seen as far as Oregon and Pennsylvania between the 9th and 11th December, as a result of the sun releasing its biggest solar flare in three years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center has categorized this as a G3 (strong) storm. As always with this natural phenomenon, it’s not guaranteed that the lights will appear, however, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an appearance is likely over the next three nights.
“Analysis suggests CME [coronal mass ejection] arrival possible late on 9 December, initially resulting in G1 (Minor) storm levels. As CME effects continue, activity is likely to increase, especially if the magnetic field carried with the CME connects well with Earth’s magnetosphere,” said the Space Weather Prediction Center.
The clouds looming over the Commonwealth today might prove a bit of an obstacle for stargazers. Fingers crossed, the skies will clear up tonight and we’ll be able to catch the delightful lights.
Space weather forecast accuracy is, of course, far from infallible and the northern lights aren’t guaranteed. If the night sky fails to impress you can always check into a Northern Lights Live Stream and get your fill from the comfort of your own home.