How to See the Northern Lights in Upper Michigan

A lot of things have to go right in order to be able to see the Northern Lights. Especially in the lower latitudes.

 You have to be in a location with very low light pollution. The moon phase need to be around the new moon, The forecast has to be clear, the temperature has to be just right. And that's not even considering the main ingredient: You need a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Basically we need to catch the sun on a bad day and it must hurl billions of charged particles directly at the earth. These particles will travel millions of miles per hour and if they hit, the shockwave can cause a large disruption in the earth's magnetosphere (earth's magnetic field). 

This might sound bad, and i'm sure it is in extreme scenarios. But for myself and anyone else who wants to see nature's most beautiful phenomenon without leaving the United States, it is the key ingredient. 

So in essence, in order to view the lights, a whole lot of things have to line up perfectly, at the perfect time of the month. Which happened last night. And being the nerd I am, I had aurora alerts sent to me 2 days in advance. I dropped everything and drove straight to Copper Harbor, Michigan. Copper Harbor is one of the furthermost points in the continental United States, it sits on Lake Superior. I think 7 people live there. Jk. No but seriously there's not that many people out there. 

Lake Superior is amazing, and monstrous, its actually  larger than all the rest of the lakes combined, and then some. The fact that with some luck and a lot of planning you can see the aurora over it's wonderful water is another testament to how amazing the state of Michigan is!


I'll be updating this post with pictures and video frequently.