Solar Storm May Reveal Northern Lights over 17 U.S. States Thursday

A possible solar storm may offer people in 17 states the chance to see the northern lights on Thursday.

The mesmerizing lights are normally seen in Alaska, Canada, and Scandinavia, the Associated Press (AP) reported Saturday.

However, “an 11-year solar cycle that’s expected to peak in 2024 is making the lights visible in places farther to the south.”

Video footage shows the green lights dancing across the sky in various areas, per KTVB:

According to the Library of Congress, the northern lights are described as colored shafts of light in the sky sometimes visible at night.

The site continued:

Polar lights (aurora polaris) are a natural phenomenon found in both the northern and southern hemispheres that can be truly awe inspiring. Northern lights are also called by their scientific name, aurora borealis, and southern lights are called aurora australis.

Colors and patterns are from the types of ions or atoms being energized as they collide with the atmosphere and are affected by lines of magnetic force. Displays may take many forms, including rippling curtains, pulsating globs, traveling pulses, or steady glows. Altitude affects the colors. Blue violet/reds occur below 60 miles (100 km), with bright green strongest between 60-150 miles (100-240 km). Above 150 miles (240 km) ruby reds appear.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center advises those who want to see the aurora they need to get away from city lights, noting the best time to witness the event is between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., according to the KTVB report.

Per the AP, the auroral activity forecast on Thursday is supposed to happen in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Indiana, Maine, and Maryland.

In April, people across the United States enjoyed a solar storm that displayed the northern lights in two dozen states, Fox Weather reported at the time.

“Oh my God. You can hear the power lines humming from the northern lights right now which are right there,” one man said while filming outside.

He then turned the camera to show viewers the green light seen in the night sky. “This is crazy,” he added:

The lights were seen in North Carolina, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.