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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Theall

Aurora Borealis

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Rare Chance for “Southerners” to See the Northern Lights Tonight

Just yesterday my dermatologist told she’d seen the Aurora Borealis in Boulder one night many years ago. This was shortly after she told me that she was raised by a gypsy who was a spell-making witch (no lie, I can’t make this up), so I wrote her off as a little out there and held onto my skepticism. I’m the editor for Alaska magazine and spend a good part of my day evaluating shots of the Aurora taken from places like Chena Hot Springs and downtown Fairbanks.  From November through March, it’s a safe bet that there’ll be at least one photo and article about the Aurora in our magazine, because the light show puts on a fairly steady display in the far north. But this morning, The University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute predicted that tonight, folks who live as far south as central Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Colorado will have a rare opportunity to see it. Apparently, the sun shot out a strong solar flare late Tuesday, which should shake up the Earth’s magnetic field (with absolutely no scientific background, I imagine this to be sort of like a four-year old playing with an etch-a-sketch) and expand the Aurora Borealis to the south. So get out your warm clothes, camera with tripod for long exposures, and see some magic tonight. It’s well worth the loss of sleep to watch God finger painting in the sky.

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