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Montana News

Oct 4, 2013 3:54 PM by KRTV

Viewer Photos: Northern Lights in Montana sky

The Aurora Borealis - better known as the Northern Lights - made an appearance in some parts of Montana on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, and some KRTV viewers snapped some amazing photos.

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center has information about seeing the Northern Lights:

Being able to see the Aurora depends mainly on two factors, geomagnetic activity (the degree of disturbance of the earth's magnetic field at the time) and your geographic location. Further considerations are the weather at your location, and light pollution from city lights, full moon and so forth.

In general, you are more likely to see an aurora if you are at a high latitude, i.e. closer to the north (or south) pole. However, there is a catch to this. The earth's magnetic poles are not exactly in line with the geographic poles, so the latitude of interest would really be the magnetic latitude. Note that it is not necessary for the equatorward boundary of the aurora to reach all the way down to your magnetic latitude for you to see it. The aurora is easily visible even when its boundary is 4 or 5 degrees poleward of your location.

Visit SoftServeNews.com for information about the forecast for Aurora Borealis viewing.

Here are some amazing viewer photos:

From Greg Altringer:

Northern Lights in Montana sky

From Michael Noel:

Northern Lights in Montana sky

From Adam Crail: "Taken Tuesday night just south of the Canadian border, north of Cut Bank; some of the best Northern Lights I've seen. The reds and purples were amazing!"

Northern Lights in Montana sky

From Kathleen Hughes: "Northern Lights last night (10/1) a few miles south of Dodson. The angle is the skyline north of Malta."

Northern Lights seen from near Dodson

From Vikki Higginbotham:

Northern Lights seen from near Fort Benton

From Scott Benedict, taken about 10 miles north of Great Falls along Bootlegger Trail:

Northern Lights seen from Bootlegger Trail

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