SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A rare light show has been dazzling the night sky across the Ozarks and much of the country. The Northern Lights provide celestial light shows to the polar regions year-round. Now, we are getting up close and personal with the phenomenon here in the Ozarks. Why are we seeing the dazzling lights close to home?
This is not the first time Missouri has witnessed the aurora borealis. However, it is highly unusual to see as vividly as what’s on display now.
Although the Northern Lights are displayed at night, it all begins with the sun. A solar storm called a coronal mass ejection emits electrified gas into space. The current coronal mass ejection is stronger than normal, causing the lights to be visible and more vivid further to the south.
Northern (and Southern) Lights happen year-round, but they are not always visible. Solar activity peaks around the fall and spring equinox, making the current sighting in late April even more unusual.
If you have not witnessed this round of the Northern Lights on display, you may still be in luck. It is believed for the next few years, the Northern Lights will be appearing more often and further south than normal. The solar maximum should peak sometime near 2024-2025. Stay tuned and keep your eyes on the sky.