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An Unexpected Southern Dance: Northern Lights to Light Up Skies Over Seventeen US States

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

BY SHONSPEAKS



As the evening dawns this Thursday, sky enthusiasts across seventeen states in the US are in for a celestial treat. The luminous spectacle, commonly known as the Northern Lights or aurora borealis, is predicted to make a delightful appearance, transforming the ordinary night sky into an extraordinary light show.


Usually, the shimmering curtains of the Northern Lights are a spectacle reserved for the lucky inhabitants of Alaska, Canada, and Scandinavia. However, courtesy of an 11-year solar cycle, due to reach its zenith in 2024, these ethereal lights are making an unexpected sojourn to regions farther south. To put this in perspective, the brilliant light display was visible in Arizona only three months ago, marking it as the third severe geomagnetic storm since the onset of the current solar cycle in 2019.


According to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, the Aurora's light show on Thursday will put on a performance not just in Alaska, but also Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Indiana, Maine, and Maryland. Our Canadian neighbors, including Vancouver, won't be left out of this celestial marvel either.


For residents in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Helena, Montana, the show is expected to be a direct overhead spectacle. Meanwhile, skywatchers in Salem, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Annapolis, Maryland; and Indianapolis might need to gaze low on the horizon to capture the mesmerizing spectacle, the institute suggests.


If you are one of the lucky ones located in the forecasted states and wish to partake in this enchanting experience, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center suggests stepping away from the city lights. The ideal aurora viewing times are between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time.


What exactly paints these magical hues in the sky, you might ask? The Northern Lights occur when a magnetic solar wind collides with the Earth’s magnetic field, causing atoms in the upper atmosphere to glow. The light show can start unexpectedly and its intensity can greatly vary.



For those who enjoy the technical side of things, the intensity of auroral activity is often rated on a Kp index, which runs from zero to nine. The zero end signifies a quiet state while nine represents an incredibly vibrant and active auroral display. The Geophysical Institute has forecast a respectable Kp of 6 for Thursday’s event. So, brace yourselves for a light spectacle that promises to be anything but ordinary!


La Shon Y. Fleming Bruce a/k/a SHONSPEAKS is a blogger, thought leader, mental wealth coach for those ready to break the chains of a poverty mindset caused by religious, social and political ideologies, a certified brain health specialist, a speaker, and lead creator of  https://shonspeaks.org    I am also a lawyer and managing member of The Fleming-Bruce Law Firm, P.L.L.C. whose practice areas focus on divorce, custody, probate, car accidents, and bankruptcy.


ABOUT THE BLOGGER


La Shon Y. Fleming Bruce a/k/a SHONSPEAKS is a blogger, thought leader, mental wealth coach, a certified brain health specialist, a speaker, and lead creator of  https://shonspeaks.org    I am also a lawyer and managing member of The Fleming-Bruce Law Firm, P.L.L.C. whose practice areas focus on divorce, custody, probate, car accidents, and bankruptcy.


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