Environment

Live in the Northern U.S.? Look Up Tonight—You Might See the Northern Lights

Solar flare brings aurora borealis to parts of the northern U.S. and Canada.

Photo Credit: By Marco Brotto (Author sent via OTRS.) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The northern lights could light up the sky from midnight Sunday through Monday's early hours in parts of the northern U.S. and Canada, scientists with the National Weather Service reported on Twitter.

Do you live where the #Aurora may be visible Sunday night?
Don't forget to check the cloud forecast! https://t.co/VyWINDk3xP #AuroraBorealis pic.twitter.com/gmggkmScDv

— NWS (@NWS) July 14, 2017

Because of a large solar flare that lasted for two hours, NWS reports, lucky stargazers from Washington and parts of northern Oregon to New England may have the rare chance to glimpse the otherworldly light show.

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Charged particles from the solar flare, known as a coronal mass ejection, ionized in the Earth's atmosphere. The result is that the northern lights will likely appear in the sky much further south than usual, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center, which is tracking the forecast.

From NWS Twitter:

 

If you find yourself in the northern U.S. or Canada around midnight tonight, look up. If the sky isn't too cloudy, you could be in for a show. 

April M. Short is a freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness and social justice. She previously worked as AlterNet's drugs and health editor.