Northern Lights to light up the skies of North America this week

Photo The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, is coming, according to air traffic control experts — and it’s important to remember that day time weather is a better indicator of when the spectacle will…

Northern Lights to light up the skies of North America this week

Photo

The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, is coming, according to air traffic control experts — and it’s important to remember that day time weather is a better indicator of when the spectacle will actually occur than the weather in the cold north.

Due to its movement, the aurora need to be mostly moving across the sky as well as through the night in order to show up. Travel is affected from the ocean to Greenland, but that’s the best place to see it, and that’s where many astronauts and the occasional politician have seen it.

Graphic – courtesy of meteor.com

The event will be visible as it moves across much of North America, Europe, and northern Africa. Those locations will see a show some time from Monday to Wednesday, when the brightness of the lights increases for several days.

Swiss agronomist Dr. Werner Tessmer calls the Northern Lights the “apparent river to the north” of the earth. For the upcoming display, he says he is expecting the lights to be only as bright as before the recent eruptions at Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

And while the lights are sometimes very pretty to see, Dr. Tessmer is anticipating very low-altitude clouds that will keep them from being seen in spectacular images like the ones posted above, which won’t help anyone any.

Even if viewers have to wait a few days before enjoying the opportunity, you can always check out the January 2011 January display from Barrow in Wyoming.

Read the full story at magnet.com.

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