With the moon dwindling to a crescent, conditions look great for northern lights viewing. Good thing because minor G1 storms are forecast for late tonight Dec. 5th through Sunday morning (Dec. 6) and continuing through dawn. After a daytime lull, G1 conditions recur from 9 p.m. till midnight Sunday night (Dec. 6) and Monday night, Dec. 7 during the same tune slot. We’re cloudy in northern Minnesota, but based on the 30-minute forecast model, the aurora should be visible at least low in the northern sky from the northern regions of Michigan and Minnesota right now.
This time around, space weather experts point to holes in the sun’s magnetic canopy as the cause. Winds of plasma (charged particles such as electrons and protons) whoosh from these openings and stream toward Earth and the other planets, where they can incite auroras.
Tomorrow I’ll post information about how to watch an easily visible occultation of Venus by the crescent moon Monday morning. Stay tuned!