Screenshot from the Space Wether Prediction website.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithacans will likely get the chance to see the Northern Lights Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, a researcher said.


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Bus To Nature: Route 22

Aurora borealis sightings usually happen about three or four times a year in New York, said Rodney Viereck, Director of Research at the Space Weather Predictions Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Screenshot from the Space Wether Prediction website.

He said the best place to see the lights is in a rural area with an unobstructed view of the northern skyline. The best time to see them is from about 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The National Weather Service is forecasting mostly clear skies Wednesday night, which Viereck said will increase chances of seeing the lights.

Wednesday night’s light show comes at the heels of one of the biggest geomagnetic storms in the past 10 years, Viereck said.

The storm happened about three or four days ago. It was caused by large solar flares that released magnetic field lines directly toward Earth.

“They were quite large flares,” Viereck said. “It was just the perfect scenario.”

Monday night’s Northern Lights sightings were reported from Canada to the midwest and as far south as Georgia.

“Last night was a really good display,” Viereck said. While Wednesday night’s aurora borealis will not be seen as far south, he said people will still likely be able to see it in Ithaca.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.