The Northern Lights over Bar Harbor in a time exposure taken earlier this year. PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

Northern Lights to shine bright tonight

A NOAA Space Weather Center map of predicted Northern Lights activity at midnight on Tuesday.PHOTO COURTESY OF NOAA

A NOAA Space Weather Center map of predicted Northern Lights activity at midnight on Tuesday. PHOTO COURTESY OF NOAA

BAR HARBOR — There is a strong potential for a visible display of the Northern Lights here tonight, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Center.

Aurora forecasters are predicting an intensity of 6 to 7 which means the Northern Lights may be visible as far south as New York City. Peak intensity is predicted to be between midnight and 3 a.m. although in past solar storms the northern lights have been at their brightest earlier in the evening.

Storms on the surface of the sun eject charged particles that are trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field and drawn to the poles, exciting atoms high in the atmosphere in a process similar to what happens in a neon light fixture. A major display of the aurora over Bar Harbor earlier this year featured slowly shifting sheets of pale green light with some purple and red.

The best viewing areas should be oriented to the north, away from artificial light sources.

The National Weather Service is calling for mostly clear skies over Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park on Tuesday evening. Low temps will be in the 40’s, the forecast said.

Here’s video of the Aurora Borealis as seen from Cadillac Mountain June 22:

Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.
Earl Brechlin

Latest posts by Earl Brechlin (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.