Northern Lights

If you came here to learn about my travels to see the Northern Lights you will be sadly disappointed. A trip to visit the Aurora Borealis has evaded me over the years. But it is number one on my bucket list. This natural light show dances across the sky, providing a spectacular view to those lucky enough to experience it.

Apparently there was a solar flare emitted by the sun a couple days ago that will cause the Northern Lights to be visible in unusual areas, like as far south as Chicago.

So, how do you view the lights? Really all you need is a clear sky with an unobstructed view of the northern sky. You also need a dark night. So people in Chicago who want to see them, need to hike it out of town and find a place without as much light pollution. It also helps if the moon isn’t quite as full as it is right now.

Don’t look directly overhead, like you see in all those dramatic pictures from Norway (the lucky b*****s). No, the lights will show up on the northern horizon. Your best bet is to find a hill or a wide open field, or even a beach for best views.

The lights were supposed to come relatively close to where I live two summers ago. My daughter and I packed up the car at four in the morning and drove an hour north to get a little closer to the viewing area. We didn’t do our planning very well, thinking we could just find a spot on a country road once we got there. Big mistake. Finding flat earth with a long view to the north is a lot harder than you might think! We drove and parked several times, finally giving up once the sun started coming up. Then headed home disappointed at not seeing them, but happy for the adventure and the time together.

I guess Norway is still on my list. If you’re interested you should follow NOAA, they have a 3 day forecast available on their website.

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