Rare Cosmic Spectacle: Northern Lights Expected to Dazzle Midwest Monday

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CHICAGO — Stargazers and night owls in Illinois might be in for a treat come Monday night, September 18, 2023. 

The Northern Lights, a celestial phenomenon usually reserved for those closer to the poles, might make a rare appearance over parts of the Prairie State.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has stirred excitement among enthusiasts with their experimental Aurora Borealis dashboard. According to their Monday forecast, the red line on their map indicates a potential horizon glow, while the vibrant red and green zones hint at the lights dancing directly overhead.

This southern extension of the Aurora Borealis isn’t without precedent. Just last week, residents of northern Missouri were treated to the mesmerizing display due to an unexpected solar storm.

The heightened anticipation for this week comes on the heels of a significant solar event. A large Earth-directed solar filament, ejected from the sun mere days ago, is the prime suspect behind the potential light show. However, hopeful onlookers should remember that predicting the exact locations of the Northern Lights remains a challenge. Nevertheless, if the forecasts hold true, Monday night could be a memorable one for many in Illinois.

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