Northern Lights visible from the QCA? Maybe this weekend

  • Northern Lights visible from the QCA? Maybe this weekend

Northern Lights visible from the QCA? Maybe this weekend

The lights - also known as Aurora Borealis - aren't often visible from West Michigan because we're too far south.

The northern lights are the result of electrons colliding with Earth's atmosphere.

If you'd like to see the Northern Lights, you'd be better off heading north in central and Northern New England. This set off a chain of events that led up to a CME, or Coronal Mass Ejection. That means we could be seeing a "Northern Lights" display which could be similar to the above image of the Aurora last September up at Sugarloaf, ME. NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a Geomagnetic Storm Watch due to the sun emitting a large solar flare or coronal mass ejection. The Northern Lights/Auroras are possible to see overnight leading into tomorrow morning. The lights can be puffy waves, or the whole sky can light up in a colorful symphony.

Some predictions are calling for the lights to be visible as far south as Chicago and Detroit.

For the Des Moines area, the Kp index has to be greater than 7 for those in the area to have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

If the auroral forecast predicts a visible aurora, get away from light pollution in urban areas and away from any bright lights. A powerful geomagnetic storm shot out from the sun a couple of days ago and should reach the Earth by Sunday night. The aurora happens when those particles get caught up in Earth's magnetic field, and causes the green colors you see. You may need to look low on the horizon to see them.