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How to watch the possible aurora borealis this weekend

Northern Lights over Iceland
A smartphone camera will provide better views than your own eyes if you’re lucky enough to witness the aurora this weekend. | Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Those of you looking to the skies this weekend may bear witness to a cosmic visual experience typically reserved for regions near the Arctic Circle. Various global weather agencies are reporting that the aurora borealis could be visible as far south as Alabama and Northern California over the coming days thanks to unusually strong solar flares.

On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a G4 geomagnetic storm watch — the first to be declared in almost 20 years. G4 geomagnetic storms (which are the second-strongest variety and considered “severe”) can potentially interfere with power infrastructure and navigation systems, but they can also trigger the aurora borealis. That means parts of the world could…

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