The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, may once again be visible to D.C. area residents on Sunday (April 23) night and Monday morning due to a powerful geomagnetic storm.
There will be a severe G4 Geomagnetic Storm, according to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center’s warning. In the G4 Alert, it was announced that “Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as Alabama and Northern California.”
Use wide-field binoculars or a camera or smartphone that can take exposures of many seconds to get the greatest shot of the dancing lights in the sky. To remedy this, use your camera’s “Night Sky” or “Low Light” mode.
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Even if you can’t see the northern lights with your naked eye, you may be able to capture some of the fainter ones on your smartphone or camera. In the north, you should notice lights that are bright enough to see in the dark, and these lights might be red or green.
Some areas in Virginia were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights only last month. In the previous 30 years, auroras have only twice before been seen in Virginia, in 2003 and 2015. We may get lucky once again because of the sun’s increased activity during this solar cycle.