northern lights viewing w'in driving distance of Manhattan
April 13, 2013 2:34 AM   Subscribe

ISO the best place tonight 13 April 2013 to view possible northern lights within an hour's drive of Manhattan?

According to this article in Accuweather, an amazing solar pulse on Thursday means that the Northern lights might actually occur as far south as NYC! Forecast is for partly cloudy skies which means, of course partly clear too. Woo-hoo, but given the artificial lights of Manhattan, I want to maximize my chances of seeing. Does anyone know where (park rural place that would have access tonight) within an hour and a half drive of Manhattan where one could possibly stargaze and see Aurora if lucky?

I'm thinking due north both because it might slightly increase chances and because that seems most rural, but open to any suggestions.
posted by xetere to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry, but considering how freakin' big NYC is, plus the total amount of light the city and its suburbs put out? My guess is you'd need to go much more than an hour or hour & a half to escape the city's glow. Vermont or New Hampshire, maybe? Rural Maine?
posted by easily confused at 6:10 AM on April 13, 2013

Check out the Dark Sky Finder.
posted by sriracha at 6:45 AM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Deleware Water Gap, in the northwestern corner of New Jersey, would probably be the darkest place within an hour or so radius. If you want the quickest way to get to a rural area, think northwest, not north or northeast.
posted by eviemath at 6:47 AM on April 13, 2013

Best answer: The problem with going north is that you are moving out of the good viewing area, and also nudging the sunset/onset of darkness later. From reading the article it seems like one of the problems with seeing the lights on the East coast will be that it is just not dark enough to see them when they are predicted to arrive at 8pm.

I would drive west or southwest -- in a little over an hour on a straight shot west from the city you could be at the Delaware Water Gap/Hope/Blairstown area, which is just a few little villages scattered around a lot of state forest. There are some rest areas on Rt 80 with great views (I think the one near exit 21 westbound is the one with a huge, 270-degree view of a valley). If you would like to get to an actual park, you might try Mahlon Dickerson Reservation (go to the ballfield at the main entrance for the most open view). You might also try Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area or Jenny Jump State Forest.
posted by apparently at 6:48 AM on April 13, 2013

Best answer: It's a little more than an hour, but Custer's observatory in crucified may have something going on for this. Would link, but not on a computer.
posted by kellyblah at 7:31 AM on April 13, 2013

Crucified is actually meant to be Cutchogue.
Out on Long Island.
posted by kellyblah at 7:59 AM on April 13, 2013

Response by poster: thanks for the links. I actually went out to Cutchogue to see a comet in the 80's forgot about that. And West seems to be the direction since north is clouding up, so Delaware Water gap it is.
posted by xetere at 8:35 AM on April 13, 2013

Some observing locations within 120 miles of New York City. Selling point: weather forecasts.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 11:39 AM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

fantabulous timewaster, Thanks for that link.
posted by theora55 at 2:01 PM on April 13, 2013

Metafilter. Thanks, xetere and fantabulous timewaster.
posted by Mom at 4:20 PM on April 13, 2013

I'm going to Jenny Jump State Forest.
posted by the jam at 6:22 PM on April 13, 2013

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