It's very hard to forecast where the Northern Lights will be visible. Keep that in mind as a new space forecast that shows it's very possible the Aurora Borealis might be visible over parts of Illinois Monday night due to another major solar storm.

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NOAA has what they call "an experimental Aurora Borealis" dashboard where they offer a forecast for the Northern Lights for the next couple nights. This is what their map looks like for Monday night, September 18, 2023. The red line indicates where the northern lights are likely to be visible on the horizon. The solid red and green area is where they should be visible overhead.

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There's good reason for this forecast which extends as far south as the northern half of Illinois for Monday night. Keep in mind that last week the Aurora Borealis was briefly visible as far south as northern Missouri due to a surprise solar storm.

The reason for optimism Monday night is a large Earth-directed solar filament that was ejected from the sun a couple days ago. This is a major sun event.

Keep an eye on the skies over northern Illinois especially Monday night and you could see a brilliant display of dancing colorful lights in the distance. Who knows? Perhaps it will even be visible overhead in some parts of our area. As I said at the beginning, forecasting where the Northern Lights will be is a tricky business. Here's hoping it makes an appearance for us.

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