The northern lights will make a rare appearance in America this weekend. Here's how to see it.
via Studiolit / Flickr

The northern lights or, if you want to get technical, Aurora Borealis, are one of the most beautiful displays on Earth. It's an incredible show of dancing green lights with the occasional appearance of blue, yellow, and red.

The lights are caused by a cosmic collision between between electrically-charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere and meet with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen.

The lights have been mythologized all over the world. The ancient Greeks believed it was caused by Aurora, the sister of Helios and Seline (the sun and moon), racing across the early morning sky in her multi-colored chariot.


The Chinese believed the lights were a celestial battle between good and evil dragons that breathed fire across the night sky.

The French thought the lights were a bad omen heralding the outbreak of plague, war or death.

The good news is that the lights making a rare appearance in the continental U.S. and aren't bringing any war or death, although they could possibly bring impeachment.

The lights are regularly visible in North Western Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Antarctica.

RELATED: A woman donated her marrow to save her brother's life, so he surprised her with his Make-A-Wish

If you live within the rings on the map below you'll have a good chance of seeing the northern lights this weekend (September 27 to 29).

They should be visible in northern Idaho, northern Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and, of course, Alaska.

via Space Weather Prediction Center

Here's a scientific breakdown about what's happening according to NOAA.

Geomagnetic activity is expected to rise on Friday, September 27 due to an increasingly disturbed solar wind field associated with effects of a positive polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS). The solar wind environment is anticipated to become enhanced and solar wind speeds are expected to climb towards 650 km/s later on the 27th; likely causing G1 storm conditions. Geomagnetic activity is expected to escalate further in reaction to elevated solar wind speeds approaching 700 km/s, likely leading to G2 storm levels on Saturday, September 28. Enhanced activity is anticipated to continue into early Sunday, September 29 - with an early period of G1 storm levels likely.

For the best view, you'll have to be in an area without any light pollution so you'll have to leave the big city. "You need very clear skies, a good view of the northern horizon (no trees, buildings, or hills), and it needs to be dark," An Space Weather Prediction Center representative told Thrillist.

via Alison Tomlin / Flickr


True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Sarita Linda Rocco / Facebook

Americans are more interested in politics than ever these days. More voted in the 2020 election than in any other in the past 100 years. Over 65% of the voting-eligible cast a ballot in the contentious fight between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

"People are very excited and paying attention even though there are all this bad news and high 'wrong track' numbers in the country," Nancy Zdunkewicz, managing editor at Democracy Corps, told The Hill.

It's wonderful to see that a greater number of Americans are standing up to be counted and demanding their voices be heard. But it's also the symptom of a deep level of discontent many people feel about their country.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Richard Desmick / TikTok

Over the weekend, an estimated thousands of people ran 2.23 miles to show their support for Ahmaud Arbery, a former high school football player and avid jogger. Arbery was shot and killed in February near Brunswick, Georgia after being pursued in a truck by a former policeman and his son who claimed he resembled someone responsible for break-ins in the neighborhood.

Keep Reading Show less

The U.S. Surgeon General credits the new surge in COVID cases to "pandemic fatigue," but it's nothing compared to what healthcare workers on the frontlines are going through. TIME recently reported that nurses are experiencing burnout, but it often goes unseen. A nurse recently employed a social media trend to draw attention to the behind the scenes fatigue.

An ICU nurse posted her own "how it started/how it's going" photo on Twitter, and long story short, it's not going that great. The before photo of Kathryn, an ICU nurse in Nashville, was taken in the middle of April right after she completed nursing school. The after photo revealed just how much literal sweat and tears healthcare workers put in while treating people during the pandemic.


Keep Reading Show less