Pixabay Northern Lights

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are predicted to extend as far south as the Delmarva Peninsula, putting New Jersey within range to catch the glimmering lights.

The Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a geomagnetic storm watch for Saturday night, and that means a spectacle in the sky will be possible in New Jersey, as long as the clouds clear out. 

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are predicted to extend as far south as the Delmarva Peninsula, putting New Jersey within range to catch the glimmering lights. On Saturday night, a G1, or minor, geomagnetic storm alert will go into effect. 

Sept. 28 Northern Lights Extent

Granted there will be a clear sky, New Jersey is north of the line of visibility (dark green line). However, for an overhead view of the Northern Lights, one needs to travel to places like Montreal, Ottawa or Minnenapolis. 

On one hand, the new moon Saturday, responsible for minor coastal flooding at the shore, will keep the sky dark, ideal for sky gazing. On the other hand, a storm system will pass through overnight. Here is the forecast for Saturday night:

8 p.m.: Partly cloudy

11 p.m.: Cloudy with showers and storms 

2 a.m.: Cloudy with showers and storms

5 a.m.: Partly cloudy

So the beginning and end of the night will be the time to sky watch, if the northern lights do make it this far south. If the sky does clear out enough, one would need to find a spot that has the northern horizon unobstructed and is without light pollution.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Agency, electrons colliding near the edge of Earth's atmosphere cause the aurora. They then speed up. As they do, they move via magnetic field down to the polar regions, where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen. That puts them into a higher energy state. When they relax, they release light, creating the aurora.

If you see the northern lights tonight, be sure to send us photos at PressofAC.com/photosubmissions.

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