You'd normally have to travel to countries like Iceland and Finland to see the Northern Lights, but at least 12 states in the US might be able to cross off this bucket list item from their own home tonight. On Labor Day, the sun emitted a ball of high-energy particles, called a coronal mass ejection, that should make its way to Earth by Wednesday night. And thanks to a geomagnetic storm, the outburst will reach much further than just the North and South Poles that our magnetic fields would typically guide the particles to.
As a result, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that parts of the US will be able to enjoy a rare display of the aurora borealis, including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.
Though you can't expect to see the light show in full effect without being in total darkness, you might be able to at least catch a glimpse. On top of light pollution, a bright moon could also potentially dim the Northern Lights in the northern US region. The show will go into the early morning, but it will only get more difficult to see as you lose the night sky. And while it's hard to predict exactly when you'll catch the lights in your area, it's still worth checking out this rare occasion!