DULUTH — On September 4, early in the morning, the northern lights made their sixth appearance in the Upper Midwest since August 19. It was a spectacular performance by the nature. Over several hours, the Aurora Borealis display changed incessantly, endlessly reinventing itself. Minnesotans were transfixed by the shimmering and dancing of sinuous arcs, phalanxes of spear like beams, throbbing patches, and weeping cascades of light.
What is an Aurora?
An aurora is a shimmering display of natural light in the sky. Lights in the shades of blue, red, yellow, green, and orange move and shape-change subtly, like softly billowing curtains. Only at night are auroras visible, and they typically only emerge in the lower polar areas.
How are they formed?
The solar wind’s ions strike oxygen and nitrogen atoms from the Earth’s atmosphere in the ionosphere. An aurora is the beautiful glowing halo that forms around the poles as a result of the energy produced during these encounters. Most auroras occur between 97 and 1,000 kilometers (60 and 620 miles) above the surface of the Earth.
Where are they usually visible?
Near the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, which are located approximately 66.5 degrees north and south of the Equator, auroras can be seen virtually every night. The spectacle is known as the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, in the north. In the south, it is called Aurora Australis, or southern lights.
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One less obvious explanation for why Minnesota is a fantastic location to see the northern lights is the abundance of inland lakes. Travis Novitsky, a well-known northern lights photographer, said : “My favorite site is on the south coast of any inland lake in northeast Minnesota. As their name suggests, northern lights are frequently most visible in the northern region of the sky, therefore being on the south bank gives you a beautiful view of the lights looking north over the lake.
Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes provide borealis chasers with a virtually limitless variety of unique locations to observe and frame them, in contrast to other states that might have one or two prime locations to watch the northern lights.
Where all can you see Aurora across Minnesota :
- A distinctive, officially recognized International Dark Sky Sanctuary, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is primarily reachable by canoe. After days spent portaging and paddling along the 150-mile U.S.-Canada border, enjoy the spectacular night skies over more than 1,100 lakes.
- Visitors to Cook County frequently witness the Milky Way and the Northern Lights blazing above Lake Superior and along the Gunflint Trail.
- As a recently recognized International Dark Sky Park, Voyageurs National Park offers tourists broad vistas of the unpolluted skies from its rivers, where they can witness spectacular meteor showers and northern lights displays. The majority of this distant national park’s 218,000 acres are covered in water, making for excellent stargazing.
- Where there is a panoramic view of the lakes and woodlands by day and, occasionally, the Milky Way and northern lights at night, is the Lake of the Woods and the Northwest Angle. The Northwest Angle is the northernmost point of the contiguous United States and is divided from the rest of Minnesota by Lake of the Woods.
Glimpse of Aurora on 5th September
There will be a second opportunity to see the aurora in the green shaded area of the gif below between 10 p.m. Sunday and 1 a.m. Monday, according to WCCO Director of Meteorology Mike Augustyniak. The spectacle might not be as powerful or visible because the outlook is not as favorable as it was on Saturday night, according to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.