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Northern Lights can be Spotted in West Michigan

There is a possibility of spotting Northern Lights in west Michigan. Northern Lights can be spotted in The best places in the world are usually closer to the Arctic Circle, including Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Southern Lights can be spotted in the Southern Hemisphere.

As is the case most times, the forecast that the dancing lights may be visible is not a guarantee.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G2 Geomagnetic Storm Watch for Tuesday through Thursday associated with solar flare activity. The peak interaction with Earth is expected to be during the night hours. A storm of this magnitude typically kicks Kp-index numbers to 6. That’s important for us here in West Michigan because we can typically see the Northern Lights when the Kp-index hits 6 or higher.

The forecast for Wednesday night is for mostly clear skies and a bright moon. Space weather forecasting is never a guarantee. Solar storms can hit several hours earlier or later than originally expected or are unable to produce the intensity originally expected.

There are numerous overlapping coronal mass ejections, mighty tangles of electromagnetic energy which is caused by solar flares that spew plasma and charged particles into space. That space weather is led straight for Earth during a total lunar eclipse. The incoming CMSs could spark G2-class geomagnetic storms, which can cause many hours of vibrant auroras around the Arctic Circle in places like Alaska, Canada’s far north, Iceland, northern Scandinavia and northern Russia.

Cameras record these moonlit auroras much better than the eye, so if you have a DSLR and tripod, snap on a wide-angle lens and take a photo now and again to check for aurora. Set the ISO to 400 and start with a 30-second exposure at f/2.8 to f/4 for starters. Back off to 20 seconds if your images are overexposed or increase the ISO to 800 if underexposed.

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