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B When to see aurora borealis in Lincoln, NE?

  1. Sep 29, 2016 #1
    Hi guys,

    I seem to be having problems determining if I can see the northern lights, even just a spec of if it, here in Lincoln tonight. Would someone mind helping me to catch a glimpse of it? How do I determine the time and well I guess I look in the direction of the north star as far as direction right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2016 #2
    No expert but I think Lincoln is too far south to see much
  4. Sep 29, 2016 #3
    The reason I ask is that I'm told it's especially low right now or I may be too late as it was that way a couple of days ago. I'll give it a try. I assume I need a clear sight to the horizon and look directly north. Just wondering when would be the best time or perhaps it's just random.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  5. Sep 29, 2016 #4


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    Lincoln Nebraska ? I'm assuming

    Yes, at ~ 41 deg N you are really borderline for viewing them unless it was a large geomagnetic storm.

    Spaceweather.com is the best place to keep an eye on for solar activity

    get out of the Lincoln and Omaha area to a dark sky area and look to the north
    a burst of auroral activity can last from minutes to several hours depending on the geo-storm intensity

  6. Sep 30, 2016 #5
    If you can see the northernlights from Lincoln, NE, I would be very concerned because it would have to be an exceptionally powerful X-class solar flare or CME for you to see them that far south.

    There is an aurora out tonight, but it isn't visible in the lower-48. SpaceWeather.com is a nice site, but I prefer this web site: http://www.ronnmurrayphoto.com/NorthernLights-AuroraCamera/AlaskaAuroraCam

    The main image is from a remote cabin just north of Fairbanks on Murphy Dome, but they also have other real-time images of the sun, and a means of measuring the strength of the magnetic storm and solar winds.
  7. Sep 30, 2016 #6
    Back in 1991-1992, I saw a spectacular display right here in the middle of the urban area of Rochester, NY - we live about a mile from downtown and this was despite an intense amount of light pollution. At 43.1610° N, we are about 160 miles north from your latitude. In terms of current Geomagnetic coordinates, you are at
    49.30N 28.19W while we are at 52.56N 5.88W ( http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/igrf/gggm/) . Still I think, given a very intense incident, it is possible, especially with some darkness to see auroras.

    That 1992 display included color and shimmering waves and even brought my neighbors out to marvel at it in our block's pocket park (just outside the shadow of a dozen street lights) I have seen amazing displays on several occasions about 75 miles further to the north and, back in the late 60s and early 70s (with much less light pollution) easily from rural areas 50 miles to the south - nearer to 42° N
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