Northern Lights could be visible in Michigan tonight: Best times, how to see them

Northern Lights over Mackinac Bridge on May 6, 2018. (Dustin Dilworth/D3 Imagery)

Michiganders could be in for a treat this weekend.

Thanks to a solar flare on the surface of the sun this week, a geomagnetic storm could be visible in the skies over parts of Michigan this weekend.

Best shot Friday night and early Saturday morning. Northern Michigan will have the best chance to see the lights.

After dark Friday, into early Saturday, especially after 11 p.m. is the prime target time. 

Best viewing: Get away from city lights, view with naked eye
Photographers: Grab a tripod, long exposure with cable release, remove filters, focus at infinity. 

Northern Lights are seen in Northern Michigan much more often than Lower Michigan, although it isn't unheard of. Weather is always a factor. Keep an eye on the latest here.

Related: Watch the Northern Lights dance above Michigan's Mackinac Bridge

What are the Northern Lights?

The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres.

They are known as 'Aurora borealis' in the north and 'Aurora Australis' in the south.. Auroral displays appear in many colors although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported.

The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.

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