NYC could miss Friday night’s Northern Lights show. This is how you improve your chances.

When the sun has bursts of energy, as it did earlier this week, the northern lights may be more visible in the northern third of the US. Normally, Aurora Borealis trackers have to go as far as Alaska to catch a glimpse of the dancing, colorful waves of light.

New Yorkers may miss the rare, heavenly light show expected on Friday or Saturday nights. Predicting the location of an Northern Lights sighting is difficult any night, even in places like Norway where conditions are optimal.

However, Bart Fried, executive vice president of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York City, said there are ways to improve the chances of witnessing such a rare and spectacular event.

“It’s rare for Aurora [borealis] to be visible in New York City,” Fried said. “In that case, it might be possible.”

Look north first, Fried suggested. When visible, the phenomenon can be seen on the northern horizon. Right now there is a new moon, which makes the conditions for observing the Aurora Borealis more favorable.

The city’s many bright lights obscure the view of the sky, and the weather on Friday evening is not exactly favorable either. Fried said a good, clear night with low humidity offers the best conditions. He recommended looking between 10 p.m. and midnight, when a brief window of clear skies is expected tonight. People with access to the necessary transportation could also try camping at the various state parks in the New York and New Jersey area.

“The predictions I’m seeing show the distribution of auroral potential plunging into Earth’s New York Aaea,” said Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History. “The chances of seeing the Northern Lights in our area are always low due to light pollution, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying!” NYC could miss Friday night’s Northern Lights show. This is how you improve your chances.

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