The Midwest has truly been lucky to witness gorgeous Northern Lights in the sky, especially in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. It's a rare chance to view the Northern Lights in the Midwest. But good news! We might see another fantastic light show this week!

News outlets like USA Today and our partners at Dakota News Now are reporting areas in South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota might see the Northern Lights on Thursday, July 13th. A solar storm in Thursday's forecast is expected to give sky-gazers in 17 states a chance to glimpse the Northern Lights.

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Northern Lights Centre is a great resource is learn about the "polar lights" in the sky. The Aurora borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) are the "collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere. The lights are seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are known as 'Aurora borealis' in the north and 'Aurora australis' in the south." The most common color light to see is yellowish-green.

Patti Ward-Maguire (with permission)
Patti Ward-Maguire (with permission)

According to the article from USA Today, people can possibly view the Northern Lights over the next several days. The forecast from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute explains, "If the weather is clear, the northern lights will be visible throughout most of the upper half of the state on July 12th and July 13th." Most of South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota will likely see the lights on Thursday evening. Maybe even Wednesday if you're further north.

The best time to view the Northern Lights will be between 10 PM and 2 AM. It's highly recommended that residents who want to see the spectacular light show say away from city lights and light pollution.

If you see the Northern Lights this week, feel free to email me your pictures and videos at

Happy star-gazing!

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A lot of them you might have visited, some you haven't for sure, and some are old favorites that maybe you haven't been to in a while. So, while there is still a little time or even one more weekend, and gas prices are down a bit - - try and make it to one of these great places.
What can be found in these 12 locations?

What can't? Camping, fishing swimming, kayaking, birdwatching, and tons of other great outdoors-type activities. Historical, educational exploration, hobby interests, kids activities, just plain old beautiful scenery, and- - to use an overused phrase- -lots more!

With all of that in mind, let's dive in!

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