Today, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued a G1 geomagnetic storm watch, which will hopefully allow the northern half of the world to see the rare appearance of the Northern Lights this weekend.
This storm watch is due to a minor solar storm happening in space. When a solar storm happens, it emits superheated plasma from it’s surface, known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME. This CME then triggers a geomagnetic storm which in turn can cause the Northern Lights to appear brighter than usual.
“[CMEs] are huge explosions of magnetic field and plasma from the Sun’s corona,” the SWPC previously explained. “When CMEs impact the Earth’s magnetosphere, they are responsible for geomagnetic storms and enhanced aurora.”
The Northern Lights will be at their strongest between sunset Friday and 2 a.m. EST Saturday, and your best chance of seeing them will be in the Northernmost states like Maine, Michigan and North Dakota.
Make sure you’re not near a city, or any place that has lots of lights, especially since the Northern Lights will already be hard to spot. Make sure to pack a camera so you can document this natural phenomenon.