Did you miss the Northern Lights on May 10? Don’t worry, they should return at the end of May or beginning of June

Did you miss the Northern Lights on May 10? Don’t worry, they should return at the end of May or beginning of June
Did you miss the Northern Lights on May 10? Don’t worry, they should return at the end of May or beginning of June

EBetween May 10 and 12, a large part of the country was able to enjoy an incredible spectacle: the Northern Lights colored the night sky pink and green in a very visible way.

And this is not the first time that the Northern Lights have been visible in the French sky in recent months. The explanation for this phenomenon: the sun is expected to reach the peak of its approximately 11-year activity cycle – known as “solar maximum” – between January and October 2024bringing Northern Lights shows to both the lower polar regions and further south in Europe.

During solar maximum, there are more solar storms, creating more aurora borealis. There are also more sunspots, which correspond to areas where the magnetic field is particularly intense. The spots appear and disappear according to the solar cycle. During this peak, it is estimated that there will be between 137 and 173 sunspots per month.

In any case, solar activity is not over. The current flare is located near a sunspot, which will face the earth again in the next two weeks. The European Space Agency is rather optimistic about the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights again end of May or beginning of June.

How to observe them?

Choose a location without light pollution. The intense light from cities that illuminates the sky makes weak auroras invisible. Check the weather forecast: clouds, precipitation or a full moon make it difficult to observe the aurora.

Look all around you, not just to the north: auroras can appear anywhere in the sky.

Check the position of the auroral oval in real time (in English only).

Dress warmly, because the nights can be cold!

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