Northern Lights Expected To Be Visible Saturday In New Jersey

Area will get rare look at famed aurora borealis

The shimmering curtain of light known as the aurora borealis is expected to be visible to much of New Jersey and several other Northern states tonight, according to forecasts.

As of 11 am this morning, the Northern Lights, as they're also known, are expected to appear beginning around 8 pm Eastern time, although the exact time may change due to shifting conditions. There’s also a possibility the aurora will not be visible from this area at all.

A Twitter feed has been created to provide updates throughout the day Saturday.

The phenomenon is caused when particles discharged by the Sun during a solar flare strike our atmosphere, with larger flares causing larger auroral displays. Usually, the aurora can only be seen at or near the North Pole, but a solar flare that occurred early Thursday morning was large enough to touch off a display that will be seen much farther south than normal.

The flare may also affect some electronic equipment, like cell phones and GPS systems. Radio and television trasmissions may also be briefly disrupted.

Viewing conditions in New Jersey are expected to be “good.” The display is best viewed in the dark, far from other, manmade sources of light.

KingBrian April 13, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Now THIS would be a cool thing to see in Jersey tonight!!
Donna Tomasini April 13, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Paul -- Do you know of any place else where we can find updates other than twitter? Thanks!
Belma Bostanci April 13, 2013 at 07:54 PM
So excited
Diane Schwarz April 13, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I saw it in Minnesota one winter and seem to remember seeing it as a kid!
Barbara April 13, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Better than anything on TV ....can't wait!
BeachBum April 13, 2013 at 09:03 PM
@ Donna - http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/dazzling-northern-lights-antic-1/10107004
Kim April 13, 2013 at 09:03 PM
we're new to the area. Any suggestions for some good viewing spots? presumably somewhere without a lot of light pollution around. We're in Union county, northern NJ. Any ideas would be great. Thanks!
Fiona Taylor April 13, 2013 at 09:33 PM
dopes anyone have any suggestions on where it would be dark enough to have a good viewing...away from man made lights that is!
Ret. SO Robert Krupinski April 13, 2013 at 11:12 PM
I don't think this is normal I always though it would only be viewed in the state of Alaska.
Johanna April 13, 2013 at 11:39 PM
I've always wanted to witness the northern lights!!
andrewn1031 April 14, 2013 at 12:13 AM
anything yet?
Larry Morristown April 14, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Looks like it will be far north of us (according to the NOAA Aurora tracker which you can see here: http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/ According to the AccuWeather Astronomy page it's looking like we "maybe" get a chance around 11pm. https://www.facebook.com/pages/AccuWeathercom-Astronomy/178186248887910?fref=ts
Damien R. April 14, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Waiting to see it hope I get a good view
Christopher Kelder April 14, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Has anyone seen the lights yet its 8.56 hear in Bloomingdale and no luck yet
Heather Hecking April 14, 2013 at 02:47 AM
No such luck! Was at Watchung Reservation from 8:00pm till about 10pm. Clouds rolled in and didn't see squat. Soooo bummed.
Truscha Quatrone April 14, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Never saw anything and people around the state also reported never seeing anything. So who reported the story and how credible was the information? The reporting came from a blogger.
Barbara April 14, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Too bad we didn't see the "lights"....would have been a nice tribute to Levon Helm.
christine April 14, 2013 at 03:09 PM
I did not see anything unfortunately..I did see a shooting star though which made my night!
Teaneck_Resident April 14, 2013 at 04:11 PM
If you guys want to experience events like these we need to come together and start fighting light pollution.
Sal April 14, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Actually this is NOT good news. What it actually means is that the magnetic field around our planet is weakening. Instead of solar flare matter going around the planet as it would normally do and only be visible at the north and south poles as it passes around the planet __instead this event would mean we are taking a much more direct hit of plasma radiation from the sun.
Jay Bell April 14, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Ooh, Northern Lights. Good, Canadian bud! www.firebrandcentral.com
J.Brendan Galligan April 14, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Barbara, I was thinking the same thing! Its hard to believe that this Friday will mark an entire year since Levon left us. Side note, are you the same Barbara (O'Brien) who was Levon's manager for the decade preceding his passing?
Amy Stratman April 15, 2013 at 02:09 AM
@auroranotify gives live updates of any aurora happenings
Barbara April 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM
J. Brendan Galligan...no I am not Barbara O'Brien...my daughter used to go up to the "barn" before Levon left us, and she reminded me on Saturday at a Southside Johnny and the Poor Fools show at Monmouth U.....she said she was hoping they played Northern Lights for Levon....they didn't but, they did play "Ophelia"... she also mentioned that they had a show in upstate NY this weekend and what a coincidence that the Northern Lights were to be seen... No coincidence....nice hello to all from Levon
Deleted because of harassment April 15, 2013 at 01:49 PM
www.spaceweather.com This is neither extremely rare nor a new type of event. The magnetic rays can reach as far south as Florida every few years, and there are usually several nights when they are visible in the course of a year over NJ. The rarity in this was the strenght of the solar flare and the happenstance of a direct release in the direction of Earth, but the impact was not as focused as orginally expected. Still, I've seen them several times from my back yard once I knew where and how to look. once you learn your location, going to the site above makes it easy to follow whether or not they are going to be strong enough to be visible where you are.
Jay April 15, 2013 at 04:13 PM
No, Sal, it does NOT mean the Earths magnetic field is weakening! This is just part of the normal high/low activity cycle our star goes through every 11 years or so. Sol is currently in a high activitiy cycle. Large/strong particle ejections happen pretty regularly but (given Earth's orbit and the Sun's rotation) not so often in Earth's direction. Lesser ejections get captured at the poles (hence the Northern and Southern lights). Until recently, big ejections didn't mean much to us humans except an exceptionally pretty night light show further away from the poles. The dawn of the electronic age changed that, along with stealing the most of the stars from urban-and-suburbanites.
Jay April 15, 2013 at 04:19 PM
For those who asked, one of the very few decent dark sky observing sites left in Northern NJ is the UACNJ observation outpost at the top of the mountain at Jenny Jump State Park/Forest. See http://www.uacnj.org for directions, info and public presentations and viewing nights. Union County locals can check out the night skies through the 24" reflector and 10" refractor maintained by Amatuer Astronomers Inc. at Sperry Observatory at UCC Cranford (where they display photos of both aurora and the milky way as seen from Jenny Jump). FREE and open to the public Fridays from 7:30-10:30 pm. More info at www/asterism.org. Also, you can SAFELY view Sun spots and solar flares through AAI's specially equipped telescope and shadow box (weather permitting) at Trailside Nature Museum at Watching Reservation on Saturdays from 1-2. (NEVER look directly at the Sun through a telescope or binoculars without the proper filters, you will permanently burn your retinas/blind yourself). You are litereally made of star dust and your life depends on starlight. Did you know our Sun is a third-generation star? Stop by you local astronomy club and find out what that means!
Sue Kolton April 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Today is April 18th, did the Northern Lights occur last Saturday night ? If so, why didn't I see this before?
Amy Stratman April 16, 2014 at 02:43 AM
that actually is my twitter page @auroranotify. The website is auroranotify.com I only update for Alaska, so it being in this article is a bit off.


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