Good reasons to stay up past midnight are few and far between, but here’s one: The Northern Lights are about to put on a show, and parts of the U.S. (that aren’t Alaska) might even be able to see them.
The Space Weather Prediction Center issued a minor geomagnetic storm warning for November 9 and 10, which means a temporary disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere will cause visible auroras. This time, the center is increasing the area in which they think the Northern Lights (aurora borealis if you’re fancy) can be seen. If you’re in Canada, you’re already golden—and probably don’t need our spiel.
So, where can you see them stateside? Alaska (obvi), Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and the very northern tip of Maine—that is, if you’re lucky. You’re going to need cloudless skies, a clear view of the northern horizon and near-total darkness. The Space Weather Prediction Center’s forecast is from 10 p.m. on Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday. Past our bedtime? Yep. Worth it? Of course.
Considering—according to NASA—this might be your best chance to see the aurora for about a decade (we’re heading into a solar minimum), we’d suggest hightailing it to the darkest, clearest spot you can find. We’ll meet you there…after we take a quick nap.