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What Is Aurora Borealis Season? Everything To Know About The Northern Lights

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For fans of sky shows, this time of year is always exciting as we enter “aurora borealis season.” There is a reason why it is known as the most beautiful sky, with its magical colors and out-of-this-world beauty! Interested in learning more about how to view the stunning scenery? Here’s everything you need to know about capturing the Northern Lights… and why there is seasonality at all.

What is the aurora borealis?

according to Space.comThe aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, are “beautiful dancing waves of light” that light up the night sky. Scientifically speaking, the lights are created from energetic particles from the sun that “collide with Earth’s upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million miles per hour,” Space.com explains. The dancing lights come on because Earth’s magnetic field redirects those particles toward the poles and creates exciting patterns.

Colors are dictated by the chemical composition of Earth’s atmosphere. “Some of the predominant colors seen in auroras are red, which is a pigment produced by nitrogen molecules, and green, which is produced by oxygen molecules,” said astronomer Billy Tates, director of the Dyer Observatory at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Space.com.

What is the Northern Lights season?

Technically, it’s always aurora season, because those energetic particles are constantly heading toward Earth. However, for those of us who don’t live at the top of the world, there are some times of the year when we’re more likely to get a chance to see them – and we’re in that territory now.

EarthSky.com He explains that the “aurora borealis season” comes twice a year, in March and October. but, Aurora District He says September and October are the best months when seeing the Northern Lights is most likely, plus it puts on the most beautiful shows.

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“September and October are the only months in which the aurora borealis appear at the same time that the lakes and rivers remain ice-free,” the site explains. “The beauty of this is that you often see the aurora borealis in the sky and reflected in the open water at the same time. It can be a really amazing sight.”

Will I be able to see the Northern Lights from home?

Unfortunately, the chances of seeing an Aurora Borealis this season from home – unless you live in the far north – are unlikely. However, there was a small chance of catching the lights last month when a “geomagnetic storm” pushed the lights further down than is usually seen, and these opportunities come several times a year to people in northern North America (like residents of Michigan and Vermont.)

As for whether anyone in the lower 48 states is likely to see some flashy lights this season, it’s not clear yet. If you’d like to know how or if you can see the Aurora Borealis from where you live, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute offers many details, including the best time to see it and where the brightest lights can be found.

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