Northern Lights in Minnesota: Your Guide for Friday Night and Beyond!

MINNEAPOLIS — Some Minnesotans may have another opportunity to witness the northern lights after it disappointed on Thursday night. While the conditions were promising, the lack of strong solar winds left many disappointed. WCCO meteorologist Joseph Dames predicts that the aurora potential will present itself again on late Friday night. However, unlike Thursday, many will contend with cloud cover.

The aurora is typically visible from just after sunset until just before sunrise. For optimal viewing, it is recommended to move away from areas with light pollution and have a clear view to the north.

RELATED: Astrophysicist explains why northern lights are so hard to predict

“Any street lights locally can wash out kind of a modest display,” said Brian Adams, observatory manager at Macalester College. The best viewing experience is at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, officially recognized as the closest International Dark Sky Sanctuary.

Is the frequency of northern lights increasing in Minnesota?

The sun operates on an 11-year cycle, and 2023 has already exceeded the predicted number of storms for 2025. With more solar storms, there are greater chances for aurora borealis.

What causes northern lights?

According to NASA, auroras are the result of charged particles emitted by the sun (solar wind). When these particles come into contact with Earth’s upper atmosphere, they produce neon-green waves, similar to electron collisions with neon gas in neon lighting.

NOTE: The original airdate of the video attached to this article is Nov. 30, 2023.


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