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Missed May’s Northern Lights? You Could Have Another Chance To See Them Soon!

View of the northern lights above snowy mountains and water.

Just weeks ago, the northern lights lit up the night sky for people all across the United States and beyond. This celestial event is common in places like Alaska, but for those in southern states like Florida, this was a particularly breathtaking sight. This was made possible for a few reasons. First, there was a powerful geometric storm — the most powerful one in more than two decades, in fact.

Second, this storm took place during May’s new moon. That means there was less moonlight in the night sky, making the northern lights even more visible. How incredible is it that all of those things aligned so we could enjoy such a beautiful sight? Well, if you think that’s incredible, wait until you hear what some experts are saying: We may see a similar event sooner than you think!

View of the northern lights in a particularly dark area. Shadows of mountains can be seen below.
Visit Greenland / Pexels

Turns out, the sun has an 11-year activity cycle, and we very well may be in the middle of what’s known as its solar maximum. As a result, sunspots appear more frequently. These trigger powerful solar flares that make geometric storms possible. So, when next month’s new moon rises on June 6, we may be in for another treat.

Another Northern Lights Show May Be Visible Next Week!

“It will align nicely,” Ryan French, a solar physicist at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Boulder, Colorado, says. “As soon as the sunspot starts to appear, we will enter the window of opportunity [for solar flares].”

Although we won’t know for sure who all will get a view of the northern lights until we’re closer to June 6, it’s awesome that more of us still have a chance! Best of all, this likely won’t be our last chance of the year — 2024 truly is the year for celestial events.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here!

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