The Northern Lights Could Be Spectacular Over Montana Tonight
Dancing in the Big Sky: Northern Lights Could Grace Montana Tonight
Montana residents could be in for a celestial treat tonight as the Northern Lights make a relatively rare appearance, turning the Big Sky State into a canvas of vibrant hues. The aurora borealis, usually reserved for more northern latitudes, has taken an enchanting detour to grace the skies of Montana.
When is the best time to look?
This celestial show is set to begin shortly after sunset and is expected to peak in the overnight hours. They're calling it "one of the most powerful solar storms of the year", which could make the lights visible as far south as Colorado.
Experts attribute this phenomenon to heightened solar activity with three coronal mass ejections reported around the same time on November 27th, creating ideal conditions for the auroras to hit Earth's atmosphere overnight Thursday/early Friday morning.
Tips for viewing the Northern Lights
For those eager to witness this natural spectacle, here are some expert tips to enhance your viewing experience:
- Find a Dark Spot: Head away from city lights to areas with minimal light pollution. Montana's vast landscapes offer numerous secluded spots perfect for stargazing.
- Patience is Key: While the auroras may start early, the peak display could take some time. Bring a comfortable chair or blanket, and enjoy the night sky while waiting for the main event.
- Check the Weather: Clear skies are essential for optimal viewing. Unfortunately, we could have cloud cover overnight on Thursday and Friday. Keep an eye on the weather forecast before you head out.
- Capture the Moment: Bring a camera to capture the Northern Lights' beauty. Use a tripod for stability and a long exposure setting for stunning photographs. Often the lights are not that spectacular with the naked eye. A camera does a better job of capturing the colors.
- Don't stare at your phone while waiting. Your eyes need to adjust to the darkness and every time you look at your super-bright phone screen it messes with your eyes.
If conditions are right, the celestial dance promises to be a memory-making event for Montanans. So, bundle up, grab a thermos of hot cocoa, and prepare to be mesmerized by the magical display overhead. If you get some great pictures, we'd love to see them. Share them with us on our Facebook page or send us a snapshot on the Mobile App.
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