Northern Lights Tonight - Ready for the Aurora Borealis? According to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, the level of auroral activity over the Upper Midwest will be “high” for areas north of Milwaukee. This means there is a decent chance of seeing the phenomena tonight! In order to see the aurora, you must have clear skies and be away from city lights.
It’s a kind a rare opportunity in the Northwest, but there is a chance Tuesday and Wednesday night of seeing the Northern Lights. Based on spaceweather.com, there was at least one, and possibly two solar eruptions from the Earth-facing side of the sun on Sunday. As that energy burst races through space toward Earth, NOAA forecasters expect a 10 percent chance of a major geomagnetic storm and a 45 percent chance of decent geomagnetic activity.
The aurora are caused when the energized particles from the Sun come into contact with Earth’s upper atmosphere. When the charged energy hits Earth, the particles react and the atoms/molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere give off the photons we see as the Northern lights. For people living in the Northern hemisphere, auroras are common in high latitudes such as Canada, the Scandinavian countries, and higher. For those at mid latitudes, such as Cleveland’s 41 degrees North, auroras don’t find their way into their skies very often.
But due to the blasts of energy from the Sun were so powerful, experts are forecasting that auroras may be seen tonight at lower than normal latitudes, which can include Northeast Ohio. We haven’t seen Aurora Borealis here before and never I guess. But they say it was stunning. The display of Aurora Borealis (photo above) that ranged from purple overhead to green curtains were really spectacular — Lights touches the Earth :)