Name: Ms. Lori B.
Date: 1999 - 2000
Hi, this is the second grade class from Wilbur Cross
School, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. We are studying space and our teacher
has taught us about northern lights. Can we see them in Bridgeport,
monroe, trumbull, anywhere in Connecticut. We love them and want to see
them. Our teacher has been looking for them since she was young and has
never seen any yet. Please help her too. Thank you very much.
You probably will not be able to see the northern lights from Connecticut
unless there is a big solar storm. My father told me he once saw them from
Baltimore when he was a boy, but I have never seen them from so far south. I
have seen the northern lights, but only from Canada.
The closer you get to the magnetic north pole, which is in northern Canada,
the better your chances will be of seeing the northern lights. When the sun
sends out an unusually large flow of ions, the northern lights will cover a
larger area, and thus will be visible from farther south. Sometimes when
astronomers observe a large solar flare (which results in a large flow of
ions), it will be reported on the news. If you look for the northern lights
for a few days after that, you will have the best chance of seeing them. Or
you and your teacher could take a trip to northern Canada.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
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Update: June 2012