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Northern Lights alert: The aurora borealis may be visible in Minnesota early this week

Why are the northern lights so difficult to predict?
Why are the northern lights so difficult to predict? 01:53

MINNEAPOLIS — Though the northern lights are notoriously hard to predict, experts believe there's a good shot Minnesotans will be able to see them early this week — if weather conditions permit. 

UPDATE: Northern lights gallery: Minnesotans share their aurora pictures from Monday night

According to a forecast from the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute, aurora borealis activity was moderate on Monday and will be high on Tuesday. Again, these are the most current forecasts and could change overnight. 


Areas of northern Minnesota were more likely to see the show on Monday, while more of the state could see it on Tuesday. However, it might be clouded over in much of Minnesota. 

The aurora borealis produces neon green waves in the night sky when electrons from space collide with atoms and molecules of the upper atmosphere of Earth, according to NASA. The result is similar to when electrons collide with neon gas to create bright lightbulbs.

The auroras come from solar wind from the sun. Even when these winds are calm, there are auroras at some places on Earth, but they may be obstructed by clouds or sunlight, according to the institute.    

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