Northern lights put on a show in Wisconsin, other parts of the U.S.
An astronomical phenomenon known as the northern lights was visible Thursday in the night sky in parts of Wisconsin, including near the Milwaukee area.
People are often told the northern lights might be visible in Wisconsin, but it rarely seems to happen. But a number of people took to social media Thursday night to say they were seeing the colorful lights.
The faint aurora is typically only visible from a dark place, making it tougher to see in metropolitan areas, but the National Weather Service office in Sullivan said in a tweet that meteorologists observed the colorful lights outside the office.
People in rural communities have been reporting the lights on Twitter, including people as far west as Holmen, near La Crosse. Other parts of the country, including Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri have also reported seeing the aurora.
Northern lights in Holmen, WI #northernlights @NWSLaCrosse pic.twitter.com/F5xrYSv8UM
— Eric Zimmerman (@ericwzimmerman) March 24, 2023
According to the Library of Congress, northern lights originate on the surface of the sun through an ejection of a cloud of gas. Once it reaches earth in two to three days, the aurora collides with the earth's magnetic field, causing a boost of energy that collides with oxygen and nitrogen atoms, and produces colorful lights.
The weather service said the northern lights will appear like green aurora to the naked eye, but if you have a 3-second exposure on a camera you can snap an image.
Contact Drake Bentley at (414) 391-5647 or DBentley1@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DrakeBentleyMJS.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Northern lights visible in Wisconsin, other parts of the U.S.