The Northern Lights May Appear Across the U.S. Tonight Thanks to a Solar Storm

This is extremely rare.

Northern Lights

Every now and then the sun goes buck wild. It sends sheets of super-heated plasma into  space, blasts that may or may not be aimed at the Earth. These geomagnetic storms only do any damage to the Earth maybe once a century, and even then it’s just knocking out a satellite or two.

They do regularly produce one of the coolest natural phenomena you’ll ever see: the aurora borealis, aka the Northern Lights. One of those minor storms just occurred, and that means we might get to watch some pretty cool space fireworks.


Normally anyone wanting to get a look at the lights would have to take a trip up to Canada, maybe hang out near the Arctic Circle. This solar storm might be different, based on the angle the Earth was tilted when the sun let loose. It might be possible to see these wild green rivers of spacey weirdness even as far south as the Midwest and New England.

The sky needs to be clear, of course, and it’s likely to be cold. But it might be worth a “date,” just as an excuse to wrap up in a blanket together in the name of staying warm. 

More lights
So cool

Keep an eye out for future viewing opportunities by watching the NOAA’s 30-minute Aurora forecast

h/t Thrillist