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are their Northern Lights now ?

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annm4peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-18-11 11:22 PM
Original message
are their Northern Lights now ?
I have lived here for 8 years and still haven't seen them
I heard that it is a good time to see them.

Has anyone seen them from the cities lately ?
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Jenoch Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. You will likely not be able
to see the northern lights if you live in either Minneapolis or St. Paul. It's difficult even from an inner ring suburb. You have to get away from the city lights. Sometimes when the northern lights are visible from the Twin Cities area they are also low on the horizon which is another reason you have to go out in the countryside to view them. There is somw sunspot activity right now so they may be active soon.
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hermetic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 05:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. Here is a good place
to look and see if there will be activity in your area: http://spaceweather.com/

On the left there is always a map that shows where they are active.
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Jenoch Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-19-11 12:14 PM
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3. I forgot
about the full moon. That will make seeing the northern lights from the Twin Cities difficult right now.
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
4. Never really saw them when I lived in the Cities.Saw incredible ones in northern MN that blew
Edited on Sun Feb-20-11 12:54 AM by glinda
my socks off. Here in middle of MN. I have yet to see any.
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Scruffy1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
5. The best display I ever saw was near Truman
which is in southern Minnesota. When I lived in Northern Wisconsin I rarely saw them because I was usually sleeping at the prime time which is usually 2 to 5 am.
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Minnesota Raindog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-11 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
6. Auroras are in a low cycle now
Northern lights are the result of sunspot activity and solar flares throwing electromagnetic particles at the earth. This solar acivitiy goes in approximately 11-year cycles. We have been at the bottom of a cycle for a number of years now--one of the lowest periods of solar activity on record--so that's why we haven't seen much recently, even up north.

You do need to get away from the city lights generally, although I have seen spectacular northern lights from right in the middle of the Twin Cities. One particularly memorable occasion was after a Grateful Dead show in St. Paul August 6, 1982. Yes, really!
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