Seeing the Northern Lights in the near-future, is more promising

From Minnesota to as far south as Virginia and Oklahoma the northern lights were on display, after a strong geomagnetic storm. Charged particles from the sun, illuminated earth's magnetic field, in the upper atmosphere.

Clouds blocked any view of the northern lights, locally Thursday night. However, the likelihood of seeing this phenomenon is more promising in the near future. Strong geomagnetic storms are MORE likely. In short, there will be more opportunities.

An image of the sun was shared with me by Marc Listello,a local astrophotographer. It shows many sunspots, filamentary lines and surface flare, all signs of increased activity of charged particles shooting from the sun.

Marc Listello

The sun is transitioning from a minimum to maximum in its 11-year sunspot cycle. The National Weather Service - Space Weather Prediction Center, tracks solar storms and activity. The chart below shows the recorded and predicted value of the sunspot cycle, increasing.

More sunspots and activity, the more chances to see the northern lights. Now we just need the weather on earth to cooperate, to see them. 

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