By Zack Green

BOSTON (CBS) — 2020 is once again offering up a rare occurrence for parts of southern New England. The Northern Lights may be visible in Massachusetts.

Aurora Borealis is referred to as the Northern Lights for the simple reason that the electric display is typically in extreme northern locations. But, there are times in which the sun has a large “coronal mass ejection” or CME for short. When a large ejection occurs, the particles that interact with the Earth’s atmosphere are able to move farther south, away from the North Pole. That is the case Wednesday and Thursday night.

(Image credit: NOAA)

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center has categorized this as a G3 storm. G3 means the strength of this aurora may reach the northern tier of Massachusetts (looking specifically at northern Worcester County, Middlesex County, and Essex County). Clouds will be the Commonwealth’s biggest obstacle. If they clear overnight and you’re hoping to catch a glimpse, be sure to find a location away from ambient light and look north!

Happy viewing!

Zack Green