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NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Colorado has issued a G2 Geomagnetic Storm Watch for Tuesday.

The best time to watch the lights is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., suggests the SWPC.(Shutterstock)

Areas where the aurora borealis will be visible

One of the effects of this geomagnetic storm includes the dazzling aurora lights which will be visible in parts of the US namely, Seattle, Great Falls, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston from late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Additionally, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute has predicted aurora forecast in Alaska and Canada as well.

The best time to watch the dazzling lights

The best time to watch the lights is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., suggests the SWPC.

Aurora Borealis seen in Minnesota in March 2023.
Aurora Borealis seen in Minnesota in March 2023.

Understanding the occurrence of aurora borealis in the U.S.

Geomagnetic storms occur from solar activity. As the sun is in its active period, it releases CME which with the help of the solar wind interacts with the oxygen and nitrogen in the earth’s atmosphere giving off light.

While geomagnetic storms can produce highly strong aurora borealis lights at the poles the space weather can cause them to expand into the northern edge of the US.

The SWPC which works under the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration said a coronal mass ejection or CME was observed on September 14 and the Earth-directed component from the CME is likely to arrive early Tuesday.

The storm watch has been issued on a 5-level scale. While, for most of us it is not something to be concerned about, a geomagnetic storm watch is an occurrence of concern for government agencies, telecommunication companies and satellite operators as they prepare to protect the systems that may be impacted by the change in space weather.

There’s no need to worry for those who might miss out on the chance of seeing the wonderful skies as these opportunities will be many in the upcoming months.

The Sun is in the midst of an active period in its solar cycle which lasts for 11 years.

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