How visible are the lights right now? New moon phase, and i just checked the current conditions and forcast for the lights and they are currently active and show they may be visible from northern Minnesota. I am driving up tomorow to gunflint trail, and have never seen the lights and it would be an added treat for my first trip to boundary water. :) Be on the lookout tonight and maybe if we are lucky we will have a solar storm this coming week :). Have any of you seen the lights while in the B-dub and how often?
In 1979 or 80 we saw the most astounding show! Green, orange, red, bluish, violet all shimmering, dancing and arcing across the sky. Tendrils joining at the tips and pulling apart. So active and yet so quiet! BLEW ME AWAY!
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Never while camping in the Q or BWCAW, but I have a place in NE Minnesota and saw an OK display for several nights the summer of 2006. Sometimes the Aurora Borealis looks like the glow of city lights to the north of you. The best ones I saw were while deer hunting down in Whitewater Wildlife Management Area near Winona. They pulsated overhead as far to the south as we could see. It was like a Pink Floyd light show.
Sounds awesome jcave, there is a website that has aurora borealis forcasts that I have been keeping an eye on. They measure radiation burstd from the sun that cause the lights and there forcast is only an hour before hand, but it ranges from 0-10. 0 being not vivsible anywhere to ten, being visible in the mid us(very rare). But it jumped to a 4 this afternoon which bordered minnesota on visibility. So I will be looking tomorow night when I get up there, and there will be pictures and video if we catch anything.
During the active part of the 11-year sunspot cycle you can see northern lights on many nights each year from here in NE Minnesota--certainly several times per month. We'll see what this cycle brings though.
I probably see the fewest auroras in summer, because it stays light so late into the evening that I'm in bed before it gets truly dark--and while canoe tripping the bugs tend to discourage sky-watching.
Come winter, a good auroral display viewed from the middle of a frozen lake is a truly spectacular sight.
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Have seen them 6 times, 4 in or around the BWCAW, 2 when I lived in Northern Wisconsin. That's in 30-40 trips, plus two years living and camping in the Wisconsin northwoods. So, pretty rare for me considering all the nights I've stayed up hoping for a glimpse. We've seen 2 in May, 2 in summer, one in September, one in wintertime.
Only twice have I seen the full reds and purples; once after a trip when we were spending 2 nights in a cabin prior to heading home, and once on a winter night in northern WI. My wife got to see them her first trip, in 1985. They were white and green curtains.
Last time we saw them was on Duncan somewhere around 2005 or so. We had a bear in the raspberry patch adjacent to our campsite. Needless to say, it woke us up (LOL)! Thanks to the bear, we got to enjoy several hours of Aurora as we sipped tea around the campfire 'till the wee hours!
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