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Northern Lights Might Be Visible In Chicago Tonight

06 September 2017

The latest reports point out that people living in parts the United States might be in for a treat on Wednesday night to Thursday morning, as they might see a ghostly aurora. Two additional solar flares occurred Wednesday morning.

And that could be the case Wednesday night through early Thursday morning (Sept. 7): Auroras are likely to extend southward into the continental United States, from Washington and Idaho in the West to in and OH in the Midwest and New England in the Northeast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). And thanks to a geomagnetic storm, the outburst will reach much further than just the North and South Poles that our magnetic fields would typically guide the particles to.

The Space Weather Prediction Center from NOAA is keeping an eye on this event. On Labor Day, the sun emitted a ball of high-energy particles, called a coronal mass ejection, that should make its way to Earth by Wednesday night. A severe such event can damage power grids on Earth and satellites.

The"most likely area of Aurora extent is to the yellow line" says the SWPC Credit SWPC

This suggests that an aurora might be visible south into northeast Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, and northeast South Dakota.

If you step outside and can't see nature's famous nighttime light show, however, you can always go inside and watch a stunning video of auroras dancing from space.

Wednesday's aurora may be hard to see because a bright moon will rise at the start of the evening for the northern U.S. states and set in the morning, potentially overpowering the dim aurora.

Northern Lights Might Be Visible In Chicago Tonight