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Northern Lights Visible Tonight from U.S.: Where and When to Watch

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Above: Photo / Unsplash

Potential Spectacular light show will wow from some locales

If you always wanted to see the aurora borealis, a.k.a. the northern lights but didn’t have time to take a voyage to Iceland, Alaska or the North Pole, tonight will be your chance. 

December 2020 is shaping up to be a celestial bonanza. On the 23rd we will get the “Great Conjunction” also known as the Christmas Star, while the 14th there will be a solar eclipse. And as above, tonight we get the light show of a lifetime, conditions permitting. Not to mention the best meteor shower of the year.

Read More: Christmas Star: alignment of Jupiter and Saturn will be closest in 800 years

The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), issued, for the nights of Wednesday, December 9, and Thursday, December 10, G1, G2, and G3 geomagnetic storm watches which indicate the possibility of the aurora borealis being visible. If these solar activity surges are as predicted, folks could have  a view as far south as parts of northern Illinois and Indiana, along withPennsylvania, as well as various other locations across the nation. 

In the best case scenario which is a G3 magnetic event, some light may be visible in northern Idaho, a small portion of Northern Illinois and Indiana, northern Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, northern Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, in addition to all of Alaska and Canada. No surprise on the Canada and Alaska part.

In the case that the event only reaches G1 magnitude, the list would be similar but not nearly as long. 

The SWPC data corresponds to a G1-3 alert with a possible event beginning at 5 pm ET on the evening of December 9, with possible continuation until 5 am on December 10. It is safe to view with the naked eye and photograph.

The disclaimer is that these are only predictions and, naturally you would need to be in a cloud free weather setting for the lights to manifest to your view brightly enough to be seen. 


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