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Northern Lights Visible From Michigan

On the nights of May 10 and May 11, 2024, the Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights were visible.
Payton Sly

On the evenings of May 10 and May 11, the sky was painted with vibrant hues of green, blue, purple, and pink. This is the result of a severe geomagnetic storm, also known as a solar storm, involving coronal mass ejections.

Coronal mass ejections are massive releases of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun’s corona. This enhances the Northern Lights, allowing us to see nature’s beauty right in the backyard.

Due to Ann Arbor’s distance from Earth’s polar regions, we are almost always outside of the range where Northern Lights are visible.

“It was super cool,” Kaylin Grant said. “I never thought I would see them in Michigan.”

Contrary to the solar eclipse that happened in early April, the appearance of the Northern Lights was talked about less prior to it. This resulted in a reduction of people experiencing it.

“I thought people were going to talk about it a lot more before it happened, kind of like the eclipse,” Daniel Jacobs said. “But then it happened and I missed it and I was pretty disappointed.”

The word about this phenomenon was spread quickly through social media.

Will Millitzer, who lives on the outer edge of Dexter, got to share this experience with his family. While watching “The Office” cozied up in blankets, Millitzer’s mom came in telling him to come outside to see the lights.

“I think my mom went out a couple of times first,” Millizter said. “Then she finally came in and told us to come outside and see.”

This display of Aurora Borealis reminded him of watercolors, because of how the hues blended together much like an abstract painting.

Not only were the lights visible in Southeast Michigan but they were also seen as far as Alabama and Northern California. However, mostly the Northern half of the U.S. got this experience, making it all the more intriguing.

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About the Contributor
Payton Sly
Payton Sly, Journalist
Payton is a sophomore at Community. This is her first semester on staff. She enjoys traveling to new places. China is one of her favorite destinations, where she loves experiencing the culture, language, and food. Payton has studied Mandarin Chinese since 4th grade. In her free time, Payton can be found reading and listening to music.

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