Geomagnetic storm could give Boston area a rare glimpse of the Northern Lights

A geomagnetic storm approaching from the sun could give Boston-area residents a rare glimpse of the aurora borealis tonight and Friday night — if they can get far away enough from the city lights, forecasters said.

Charged particles from the sun typically only reach the earth’s polar regions, causing the multi-colored lights to appear in the sky, but a particularly strong eruption on the sun earlier this week could drive those electric particles as far south as New England.

“It’s chancy, but there’s a good chance that the auroral oval could be driven down that far south,” said National Weather Service space scientist Joe Kunches.

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For the best view of the phenomenon, also known as the Northern Lights, he recommends watching anytime after sunset and before sunrise.

“Go to a dark place and get away from the background city lights and commotion,” he said.