A chance to see the Northern Lights? - WNEM TV 5

A chance to see the Northern Lights?

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Take a look at the night sky over the next two days and you may be able to catch sight on the Aurora Borealis, a.k.a the Northern Lights.

It is extremely difficult to forecast with precision when we will have a good view of the northern lights, but right now there is a good deal of geomagnetic energy which correlates to the strength of the Aurora Borealis. And that means there’s a chance we could see some activity.

If you want to check the Aurora forecast check out this page.

Aurora strength is measured using what’s called a Kp number. The higher the number the stronger the aurora.  Anything at or above a Kp5 is classified as a geomagnetic storm. That is usually when Michigan has the best chance of seeing the northern lights. Tonight we are seeing a Kp6 so you might have a decent chance of seeing the lights.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to maximize your opportunity to see them.  Skies tonight will, thankfully, be mostly clear. There will be a few clouds out and about, but for the most part we will have clear skies. With that in mind if you want to see the lights you will need to get away from the city.  You won’t be able to see the northern lights in the city because there will be too much light pollution and the subtle glow of the lights will be hard to see.

Also remember it is hard to see the lights this time of the year and they will appear low on the northern horizon so don't look too high up or you'll miss them.

If you head up north or far away from any light pollution look low on the northern horizon and you may catch sight of the lights. They will appear as a faint green glow or slow moving wave.

We will see moderate geomagnetic energy for the next 2 days. Tonight will be the best chance to see the lights. Wednesday night will have a Kp5 and will also be mostly clear so try and get away from the city at take a look, you may see something beautiful. 

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