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Which states should pay attention to the air?

Another solar storm is forecast to hit Earth on Friday, potentially giving residents of northern states another chance to see the Northern Lights. This storm is the result of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun, following a solar flare on May 29. The Space Weather Prediction Center predicts a moderate geomagnetic storm, with an intensity level of 2 out of 5, to arrive on the evening of May 31. and lasts until the morning of June 1. Although the chance of seeing the lights depends on conditions, some northern and upper Midwestern states may catch a glimpse.

The best time to see the Northern Lights is during the darkest hours of the night and early morning. Friday’s lights are expected to be visible between 11pm and 1am, with viewing possible until around 3am. However, viewing conditions are still uncertain, with the aurora possibly visible over states such as New York, Michigan, Vermont, and Wyoming. Those interested in seeing the lights are advised to monitor the Space Weather Prediction Center website for updates and conditions.

The Northern Lights are a luminous glow that can be seen around the Earth’s magnetic poles, creating ribbons of colorful light in the night sky. These polar lights are known as aurora borealis in the Northern Hemisphere and aurora australis in the Southern Hemisphere and are the result of the Sun’s interaction with the Earth’s atmosphere. Electrically charged particles from the sun collide with gases in Earth’s atmosphere, creating flashes of light that appear as moving colors in the sky.

Auroras are generated when solar winds from the Sun interact with Earth’s magnetosphere, causing particles and gases to produce the colorful displays in the sky. Although Earth’s magnetic field usually protects the planet from solar winds, strong winds can occasionally bypass the field, allowing interactions that result in the stunning Northern Lights. The phenomena are usually seen around the Earth’s magnetic poles, creating a breathtaking natural light show for viewers.

As the days get longer, it becomes increasingly difficult to spot the aurora because the windows of dark sky are shorter. The link between the coronal mass ejection and Earth’s magnetic fields during viewing times is crucial for the visibility of the Northern Lights. Should the predicted G1-G2 conditions materialize, Friday evening would be the ideal time to look for the aurora, with less chance on Saturday evening. Some states most likely to see the lights include New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Overall, the chance of a geomagnetic storm on Friday evening could give residents of certain US states another chance to witness the beauty of the Northern Lights. While conditions are still uncertain, monitoring the Space Weather Prediction Center’s updates and being on the lookout during the darkest hours of the night could increase the chances of catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis .

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