LOCAL (NEW)

PHOTOS: Uncommonly, northern lights shine across parts of Utah,

Apr 24, 2023, 6:51 AM | Updated: 3:37 pm

The lights as seen in North Ogden (McKenna Jensen)...

The lights as seen in North Ogden (McKenna Jensen)

(McKenna Jensen)

SALT LAKE CITY — Aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, lit up skies across northern Utah overnight. Local NASA ambassador Patrick Wiggins said while it’s not rare to see the lights in Utah, it is uncommon.

He said he even had reports of sightings in northern Arizona.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the lights are visible when electrons collide with the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere and are energized, similar to how neon lights work. Wiggins explained the solar flare that causes the phenomenon as a “burp” from the sun.

“Basically the sun burps, and this time it burped really well and that was able to push it further south,” he said. “What happens to cause this in the first place, not just here on Earth — we’ve seen it on other planets as well, you get this stuff coming from the sun and when it interreacts with our upper atmosphere. Depending on what gas is activated, you get these different colors.”

The last time a geomagnetic storm this strong reached Utah was in 2000, according to Wiggins. While stronger flares can lead to Utahns seeing the northern lights, they can also lead to damage.

Wiggins referenced an event in 1859 known as “The Carrington Event” — one of the biggest flares that have ever been recorded in human history.

“It literally shorted out telegraph wires, people were electrocuted because of all the electricity that was in the air from this thing,” he said.

It’s not certain when or if the lights will illuminate Utah skies again, but the Space Weather Prediction Center offers an aurora forecast on the website.

To see the lights, the Space Weather Prediction Center says you should have a clear view of the northern horizon in the dark, with the best hours for viewing being within a couple of hours of midnight. The website states that the best viewing times are near the spring and fall equinox, so now may just be the chance for Utahns to view the glimmering skies.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Local (New)

pets...

Curt Gresseth

Don’t surrender pets to a shelter. Send in a pro to reverse bad behavior, says Utah trainer

An expert discusses controlling the unwanted behavior of pets.

15 days ago

fixer-upper...

Curt Gresseth

Can’t afford new home? Would you renovate a fixer-upper?

Is it worth the work and money to attempt to renovate a fixer-upper home? Realtor discusses pros and cons.

23 days ago

A wrong-way driver crashed into a car on NB Legacy on Sunday morning. (Canva)...

Kennedy Camarena

Wrong-way driver crash results in one death

A wrong-way crash has ended with the death of one of the drivers. The wrong-way driver is suspected to have been under the influence.

27 days ago

South Jordan said their cleanup efforts have concluded, taking 25 dumpsters-full of tumbleweeds to ...

Heather Peterson

Tumbleweed cleanup in South Jordan comes to an end

South Jordan said their cleanup efforts have concluded, taking 25 dumpsters-full of tumbleweeds to the landfill.

1 month ago

DAYBREAK — Wayne O. Ursenbach, a World War II veteran, explosives researcher, man of faith, husb...

Eliza Pace

Utah veteran, survivor of Battle of the Bulge, reflects on incredible 100 years

Wayne O. Ursenbach, a World War II veteran, explosives researcher, man of faith, husband, and father will turn 100 years old on Dec. 4, 2023.

5 months ago

The area just north of the Central Pointe Trax Station, adjacent to Ballpark neighborhood. Photo cr...

Mark Jackson

Input wanted for area plan north of Central Pointe Trax Station

Salt Lake City planners are seeking input from residents on how to uses land in the Ballpark neighborhood.

6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

PHOTOS: Uncommonly, northern lights shine across parts of Utah,