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Northern lights may be visible this evening and overnight

MADISON (WKOW) – If you look north tonight, you may be able to see the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

Officials at the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) say a geomagnetic storm could cause the lights to be visible for much of the northern U.S., including right here in Wisconsin.

The SWPC says the best time for viewing will be from 7 pm Wednesday evening to 3 am early Thursday. And better yet, skies will only be partly cloudy, allowing the best shot of seeing them.

RELATED: Bundle up, expect a very cold night ahead

The Northern Lights occur when electrically charged particles collide with neutral atoms in the upper atmosphere, creating a dazzling display of green-colored light across the sky.

Make sure to get away from light pollution and go to rural areas with a wide-open horizon. Plan on allowing your eyes to adjust to the dark for at least fifteen minutes before you attempt to view the lights.

Tips for photographers: use a tripod, have your camera on a long exposure setting, remove all filters and set your focus to ‘infinity.’

If you get a shot, send it to us at and we might use it in our newscast!

Max Tsaparis

Wake Up Wisconsin Meteorologist

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