Don't forget to look up tonight!

Auroras are amazing sites because they are, of course, impossible. When Amanda and I got married a year or so ago in northern Minnesota, there was an amazing Aurora, surpassing what anyone at the wedding had ever seen in the state. Big colored curtains of light.

Tonight, and over the weekend, the northern lights will be majorly large and extensive, and visible from very far away. The the graph above (from here) gives you an indication of where you might see them. Anywhere north of the solid green line has a chance, depending on local conditions.

More like this

Skinner: Well, that was wonderful. A good time was had by all. I'm pooped. Chalmers: Yes, I should be goooo-(notices kitchen on fire)-od lord, what is happening in there? Skinner: Aurora Borealis? Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country?…
"I came from the country, and when I came to the city, I was ridin' high, you know. I was seeing more lights than I ever dreamed to shine in the world. 'Cos where I came from, there wasn't too many lights. Bugs made a lot of light, but after that there wasn't no lights." -John Hunter John Hunter…
You’ve heard of the The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds (The Crossley ID Guides). It is a revolutionary new way to assemble a field guide, where each page has a drawing of what it would look like if suddenly outside your living room there was a full blown habitat for some species of bird, with…
"After your death you will be what you were before your birth." -Arthur Schopenhauer If only every star's death could be as glorious as a supernova, rocketing anywhere from thousands to millions of Earth-masses out of a star and into interstellar space. When we get one in our galaxy, like we do…

Best viewing tonight will be early in the night: roughly 8-9 PM at my location, may be slightly different elsewhere. You want to wait long enough for skies to get dark, but not so long that the (more than half illuminated) moon has risen. Get away from city lights, and if you are south of the green shaded area, look for a spot with a clear view to the north. Tonight is my best shot, since we'll be clouded over here tomorrow night.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 12 Sep 2014 #permalink

Unfortunately the skies here are currently overcast and the forecast is for them to continue that way through tomorrow. To those of you with clear skies: best of luck.

When this happened in 2003 {albiet, a much larger storm}, I saw them in Alabama. From up on a ridge a little and even looking straight across the lights of a middling-sized city, The smears of red suddenly changing to green and back as it raced across the sky was memorable.

On that occasion, I could watch the compass needle slowly oscillate over a period of 15 minutes or so.

The earlier impact this morning was 670 km/s... tonight's looks to rise to around 800 or so.