Aurora borealis is an extremely beautiful natural phenomenon that occurs in the Earth’s atmosphere.
This event, sometimes called a polar light or northern lights mainly happens during the winter season when there are strong sunspots on the surface of the Sun. The charged particles from these sun spots interact with molecules in the earth’s upper atmosphere and produce different colors like green, blue, violet and pink due to oxygen atoms releasing energy as they return to their ground state. These auroras can be seen for hundreds of kilometers around and can even be observed from space.
If you want to see this amazing spectacle it is best if you go outside between 8 pm-2 am during these months (November-March). You will need a dark sky with no clouds and there has to be a bit of luck involved. If you want to, you can also try photographing aurora borealis or even better, videotaping it. These phenomena are best viewed at around 65°-75° latitude in the Northern Hemisphere which includes areas like Alaska, Canada, Iceland and northern Russia.
Earlier this year, scientists finally answered a long-asked question of what causes the lights. They said those stunning displays of green, blue and purple lights come from disturbances on the sun pulling on Earth’s magnetic field. From there, cosmic waves are created that launch high-speed electrons into the atmosphere, which creates the phenomenon.
For the other effects of the geomagnetic storm, NOAA listed possible effects of voltage irregularities, false alarms on some protection devices and interruptions to navigation and radio signals.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute Aurora Forecast indicates that the Northern Lights could be visible from Portland Oregon to New York City if weather permits.
It could also be seen on the horizon as far south as Carson City, Nevada, Oklahoma City, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
In Europe, the forecast shows the aurora borealis may be visible overhead from across Norway, Sweden and Finland, and even as far south as Scotland and St. Petersburg, Russia, weather permitting.
It may be visible on the horizon as far south as Dublin, Ireland, and Hamburg, Germany.