Can I see the Northern Lights?
October 24, 2011 8:51 PM   Subscribe

Can I see the Aurora Borealis tonight in New England?

So the local newscast claims I will be able to see some kickin' Northern Lights tonight, due to solar flares or some other alien nonsense. I am at the corrected geomagnetic latitude 53 (ish.). I could easily hop in the car and drive northish for a bit if it is worth it. I spun around the local golf course and things looked...somewhat bright? But that might be my hopeful subconscious talking.

So, ah, any tips on this? Has anybody seen a good light show tonight? How the heck do I know it's the Northern Lights and not, like, emergency flood lights at the power plant or something?

Bonus: Is it worth packing up my 90-year-old grandma for this? She likes an adventure, but she's a tough crowd: anything less than a laser show will fall flat.
posted by Snarl Furillo to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a few links that should help you. Map of Aurora activity
Dark Sky Finder says it's been seen as far south as Maryland, so you've probably got a pretty good chance at seeing something.
posted by borkencode at 9:05 PM on October 24, 2011

Oh, also Cloud cover Your profile says you're in New York State, so looks like you have partial cloud cover.
posted by borkencode at 9:08 PM on October 24, 2011

We had a beautiful display in central Michigan tonight. It has died down now, but there may be more later.
posted by Jandasmo at 9:40 PM on October 24, 2011

Generally on nights like this one, I get decent shows here in New Hampshire. But last night was rain.

If you see them, you'll know.
posted by kaszeta at 6:39 AM on October 25, 2011

Thanks, guys! Grandma Snarl and I packed it in and went to bed, but I'm going to keep an eye on some of the monitoring sites in case we get another chance.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:11 AM on October 25, 2011

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