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Thread: Northern Lights

  1. #1

    Default Northern Lights



    Where and when is the best time to view the Northern Lights in the lower 48

    Thank in advance
    Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Predicting the Weather 93 Million Miles Away

    The Aurora Borealis is controlled not by anything on Earth (well, OK - the magnetic field, but that's relatively constant) but by activity on the Sun. Solar activity waxes and wanes on an 11 year cycle. and is currently just past minimum so now is not a great time to be trying to view the Northern Lights from the Lower 48. At times of maximum solar activity, such observations are possible but are hard to predict. Generally, your chances improve with longer nights (winter), dry clear skies, and proximity to the north magnetic pole (currently near the northern tip of Ellsmere Island but moving northward) - so Maine and the UP of Michigan.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default Back in the day on the UP

    Bob,
    While living/working on the UP during the summers of 1981 and 1982, we'd regularly see the Lights. According to AZBuck's most excellent explanation and link, I see that period was one of particularly high activity, likely speaking to why we were able to see the Lights in summertime to the extent we did.

    I am now recalling our ground geophysical crews who worked on the UP during the winter of '82-'83 reported some spectacular shows.

    There's never a reason not to visit the UP!

    Foy

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