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Old 01-23-2011, 04:03 AM
Location: Homer Alaska
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I used to see them all the time up along the Canadian/MN border country. Magical!
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:50 PM
Location: Park Rapids
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We are just about to begin a peak cycle for the Northern Lights. Every 11 years the sun gets that itch to burst out the solar flares, and 2011 is the beginning of the next peak period.

You won't have to go anywhere except for out-side. Pay attention to the forecasts.

The Geophysical Institute Auroral Forecast Page
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:27 PM
Location: Las Vegas via Minnesota
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I saw them once while on a snowmobile trip. It was near the Biwabik area, out on a lake late at night. It was spectacular!
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:52 AM
Location: Earth. For now.
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I've seen them many, many times from my house only 2 miles from downtown Minneapolis.

Often, people don't even realize they are looking at the auroras! Because they often mistake them for simple stratospheric clouds and don't pay attention to their movement. They glance up, thinking the sky is just hazy and then forget about it.

The most spectacular display I've ever seen was only a mile from the 3rd Avenue bridge downtown. Brilliant radiating arms. You could see reds and yellows. Yet most people ignored it. They just weren't paying attention.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:54 PM
Location: Puposky MN
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Used to see them every night in the winter either driving home from work, town, or a friends house. Littlefork area. I'm down near Bemidji now and don't notice them so much. Maybe once or twice? There was one night the sky was so gorgeous I stopped my car on the side of the road and sat on the hood just watching it for a while. Only a little while, as it was like ten below...but gorgeous all the same
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:58 PM
Location: Willmar, Minnesota
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Originally Posted by snofarmer View Post
Getting away from any light source will make the viewing much better.

Yes, they are predictable, almost down to the Hr it will occur. Our local weatherman will tell us when they are going to be viewable.
OR you could use or read the links I posted and you can too. or at least understand what it is and where you can see it. Some large displays have been seen way down south.

Well, I wouldn't call what the weatherman says as a prediction. For instance he can't tell me today (February 4) that we will see Aurora on June 11th at 10.00 p.m. Sure once the solar flares occur then Aurora can be predicted but that's really little or no help to plan a trip to Minnesota when you live in New Mexico. After the flares Aurora will appear in a few hours or days--not enough time to ask for vacation and take a trip.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:00 AM
Location: Northern MN
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Well. yes you will be able to plain a trip from any where in the world to the northern part of the hemisphere.

When we get back into a solar flair cycle it will last for a few months to a year not hr's. You will be able to see them year around as long as it is dark. Yes some nights/ weeks are better than others because we can not control nature.

"Because the sources of disturbances on the sun tend to repeat, especially during low activity periods, we have arranged the plots according to the 28 day solar rotation period. These are called Carrington rotations in honor of the astronomer who first noticed the relationship between disturbances on the sun and magnetic activity on Earth. Because the activity tends to repeat, and we have included a 28 day solar wind velocity prediction, you can plan your auroral viewing periods a month or so in advance."Geophysical Institute - Interpreting the Aurora Forecast

28-Day Prediction Technique

This is a very helpful tool for predicting auroras. On average, the sun revolves on its axis once every 27-28 days as seen from earth. Therefore, sunspots, like those seen on this solar image to the left, are like a giant revolving firehose emitting energy into space for sometimes months at a time.
After an active aurora night, mark that date on a calendar and in 27-28 days pay close attention to the sky. If that same sunspot (or coronal hole) is still active it will have rotated around with the sun and will be, once again, in geoeffective position (pointing toward earth)....and hosing us with an enhanced flow of aurora-generating solar wind.

You may have heard that solar activity and therefore auroral activity is at a maximum in the year 2000. This maximum will last about four to five years, and what it means is that there will be more auroras visible from locations south of the main occurrence zone than during the solar minimum years. During the active part of the solar cycle, it is difficult to predict aurora beyond about three days, since the predominant source of activity is sporadic outbursts from various active regions. During sunspot minimum (2006-10), the main sources of activity are more stable both in location and intensity, so that we can more confidently predict the return of activity with the 28-day rotation of the sun. We cannot say whether the aurora will be active during the two weeks you will choose to travel north to see the aurora six months from now. However, we can isolate the days of higher activity in each solar rotation (28 days) as much as two rotations in advance. We note these dates in the auroral forecast under forecaster's comments and in the 'auroral alert' service.

but, yea they will be able to predict which nights will be better for viewing.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:58 PM
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Anyone catch the CBS evening news at 5:30 pm Saturday, (today) they had a story of the lights in Northern Norway the sky was all green and dancing. Spectacular
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