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Will the aurora borealis be visible in New York?

What is the aurora borealis?
What is the aurora borealis? 01:05

NEW YORK -- There is a possibility that the aurora borealis could be visible in the Tri-State Area on Thursday night.

So what exactly is the aurora borealis, or the northern lights?

As CBS2's Lonnie Quinn explains, the sun ejects solar flares and the particles interact with our atmosphere, getting drawn to the magnetic poles and creating waves of color.

The colors are best at North Pole and the South Pole, but the stronger the storm, the farther south it's visible.

Aurora Borealis over New York
NEW YORK, USA - NOVEMBER 20 : Aurora, known as the Northern Lights, Polar Lights, Aurora Borealis or Australis, Southern Lights etc. as seen over Santanoni Preserve in Newcomb region of New York, United States on November 20, 2019. Aurora Borealis were visible in blue color for about half an hour. Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

This weekend, there is a slight chance the lights will be visible in the Tri-State Area, but it would be much fainter and low on the horizon.

"I certainly wouldn't rule it out," said Bill Murtagh with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center.

Your best bet to see them is areas farther north and higher elevations.

The waning moon and light pollution could affect visibility.

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