Northern Lights to be seen over Chicago Saturday evening- NBC Chicago

The Chicago area is in for another spectacular light show late Saturday as a rare geomagnetic storm supercharges the Northern Lights once again. This phenomenon will likely be visible throughout a large portion of the United States, including areas not typically known for experiencing the aurora borealis.

Pictures captured around the world, including in Chicago, showcase vividly colored skies in hues of pink, purple, and green. The geomagnetic storm reached an intensity level of G5, the strongest to hit Earth’s atmosphere since 2003, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

For those interested in witnessing the Northern Lights, the ideal time to venture outdoors would be after total darkness, around 9 p.m. The period of peak visibility is expected to be between 9 p.m. and midnight, with some impressive displays continuing after midnight as well.

Although the displays are anticipated to be awe-inspiring, they are not expected to be as intense as the previous night’s light show. NOAA forecasts the storming to persist through at least Sunday, with potential impacts on power grids and communication systems due to voltage control problems.

The solar storm that arrived earlier than expected prompted the NOAA to issue a rare geomagnetic storm warning, the first since 2005. Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at the Adler Planetarium, shared some tips for optimal viewing conditions, such as getting away from light pollution and adjusting your surroundings to enhance visibility.

If traveling to an area with less light pollution is not possible, positioning bright lights behind you could increase your chances of spotting the Northern Lights. If witnessing the phenomenon firsthand proves challenging, capturing it on your cell phone’s time-lapse camera might yield impressive results.

Following Saturday’s event, there are still opportunities to see the aurora borealis on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as the geomagnetic field is expected to reach various storm levels. Make the most of these upcoming chances to experience the magic of the Northern Lights.

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