Severe G-4 Geomagnetic Storm Could Produce Northern Lights in North Carolina Tonight

A severe geomagnetic storm, caused by solar eruptions sending plasma towards Earth, has the potential to display the Northern Lights as far south as North Carolina and Tennessee tonight.

Auroras, or Northern and Southern Lights, occur when solar particles interact with Earth’s atmosphere. The storm has been classified G4 on the SWPC’s five-point scale, indicating severe space weather conditions.

According to Alaska’s Geophysical Institute, the aurora should peak tonight between 2am to 5am (6-9 UTC) in the darkest part of the night’s sky.

Northern Lights lit up the North Carolina sky for the third time of 2023 on Nov. 5th after an exceptionally powerful CME from the sun blasted our magnetosphere, similar to what is expected to happen tonight.

If you want to get your own shots of the stunning aurora tonight, you’ll need a long-exposure camera and a very dark place where you have an unobstructed view toward the northern sky. The best place would be a remote mountain top along the blue ridge parkway with north-facing views.

You can find the dark spots in your area using the official light pollution map here.

Happy aurora hunting!



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