Solar activity favoring Northern Lights in Minnesota this weekend

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Photo taken by Tim Mlodozyniec near McGregor, Minn.

The weather across Minnesota has been quiet and mild these past few days with little change in sight. However, the solar weather has been a little more active, and for that reason, so may the Northern Lights over the next few days. During the time frame of May 1- through May 20, the earth will pass through a stream of solar wind flowing from a coronal hole on the sun.  This passage will allow for the solar energy to possibly ignite a firestorm of Aurora activity.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW- Northern Lights fill Minnesota skies over Mother's Day weekend


Check out the photo above from NASA!  The dark area across the top of the sun in this image is a coronal hole, a region on the sun where the magnetic field is open to interplanetary space, sending coronal material speeding out in what is called a high-speed solar wind stream. This will then interact with the earth’s magnetic poles to enhance the chances of seeing the northern lights.


When it comes to catching a glimpse of Mother Nature’s light show, it really comes down to luck. Although the conditions favor the development of the Northern Lights over the next few days, obstacles such as cloud cover, timing and city lights can dim the light show at any time. Its similar to predicting the weather, conditions are favorable but there is no guarantee of a particular outcome. Good luck in your sky watching and send us some pics if you’re one of the few who captures this spectacle on film.